Vegan Fig and Roasted Carrot Pizza
I hadn't made pizza in a long time, and on my day off, I decided it was about time. Now that I have a great vegan melty mozzarella cheese recipe to use, I can enjoy all of the pizzas I once loved when I ate lots of dairy cheese. One memorable pizza I enjoyed back when I was in college was a delicious pizza including figs. My Mom and I were in Boston for a 10k race I was supposed to run, but I ended up just spectating because I was injured. So we had fun walking around the city, and decided to eat at this little pizza place for lunch. She ordered a fig pizza. It was wonderful. I have really wanted to make a fig pizza at home since then, but never have tried.
Silly, because I have put just about everything else imaginable on a pizza in different combinations, but never figs. They seem to have a short season of availability here, and whenever I did get them I just ate them or used them in desserts. Well, since I just got a big bag of soft, sweet dried figs I decided to give it a go with them. They have so much flavor, I was confident they would be good even though they were not fresh.
I also decided to add roasted carrots to the pizza. Because if you have ever had roasted carrots, you know that they are delicious. And I thought they would add some color since the figs were not that colorful. Caramelized onions, and spinach completed the toppings combination, and of course the lovely melty vegan mozzarella cheese.
It turned out lovely! The unusual combination of toppings I used worked really well together. The sweet figs and carrots were a nice combination with the salty cheese. It was heavenly. If you have fresh figs on hand, by all means use those. But if it is winter where you live, like it is here, then soft dried ones work out perfect!
Vegan Fig and Roasted Carrot Pizza
Makes one 14 inch pizza
Adapted from Olives for Dinner's Mozzarella Recipe
1 15 oz can full fat organic coconut milk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt
2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
1/4 plus 1 Tbsp filtered water
3 Tbsp agar flakes or 1 Tbsp agar powder
1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tsp guar gum
To make the mozzarella cheese, heat the coconut milk in a saucepan, until it comes to a simmer.
Meanwhile, dissolve the arrowroot starch in the water and set aside.
Once the coconut milk has come to a simmer, add the agar flakes, and heat until they are dissolved (mine took about 8 minutes, if you are using the powder, it should dissolve within one minute).
Next, add the lemon juice and sea salt to the coconut milk.
Mix the arrowroot with the filtered water until dissolved.
Mix the coconut oil with the guar gum so that the guar gum does not clump up.
Turn off the heat and add the arrowroot mixture, guar gum and coconut oil. Whisk for about 30 seconds, then pour into a silicone mold (I used a loaf pan, but if you had another shape you would like to use go ahead). Refrigerate for a few hours until firm, then pop out of the mold. You will need half the cheese for this recipe, reserve the other half for another use in the fridge, wrapped in an airtight container. Shred the half you will be using into a bowl, and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp filtered water
To make the pizza crust, combine the flour, guar gum and sea salt in a bowl, and whisk until well blended. Add the water, and mix in until you have a soft dough.
Turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper with a light dusting of flour, and roll out into a 14 inch circle. Set aside.
1 cup sliced carrots
Toss the carrots with just enough oil to coat, and spread out on a sheet pan. Roast in a 400F degree oven until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
1 medium red or yellow onion, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt
To make the caramelized onions, heat the oil in a pan, and add the onions. Cook, stirring often until the onions are very soft and starting to brown. Add the sea salt, and set aside.
For Pizza Assembly:
1 cup dried figs, soaked in water for 30 minutes, drained well, and halved (or fresh figs if you have them)
baby spinach leaves
Pre-heat the oven to 400F degrees. Set a pan on the center rack with an upside down sheet pan, or a pizza stone set on it. Brush the crust with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and slide the parchment with the crust on it onto the stone.
Bake crust for 15 minutes, then remove the crust from the oven (still on the parchment). Top the crust with the onions, scattering around evenly. Then the figs, spinach, carrots, then the cheese, making sure it is all evenly distributed.
Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown (keep an eye on it after 15 as some ovens cook faster than others). Remove the pizza and parchment from the oven, slide pizza onto a cutting board or plate, scatter basil over the top, slice and enjoy!