Thursday, September 3, 2009
PEAR PIZZA WITH VEGAN "GOAT CHEESE", PECANS AND ARUGULA
I had a delicious pear pizza at a friend's house one time, and I've been wanting to make something similar ever since. Since I had some nice ripe pears on my counter, I decided to try my own version the other day. I used my own pizza dough, and added a creamy vegan "goat cheese spread", arugula and pecans. It was excellent, if I do say so myself! I hope you'll give it a try, now that pears are in season.
BRYANNA'S PEAR PIZZA WITH VEGAN "GOAT CHEESE", PECANS AND ARUGULA
Yield: 4/ 9-10" pizzas
This is a deliciously savory way to enjoy pears!
1 recipe Bryanna's Neapolitan Pizza Dough
1 recipe Bryanna's Creamy Tofu/Cashew "Goat Cheese" Spread
OR Bryanna's Creamy Tofu/Tahini "Blue Cheese" Spread Variation (see recipe below)
(recipe below) OR, if you are pressed for time or don't care to make your own,
3 cups thinly-sliced baby arugula
3 large pears, ripe but firm
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
smoked paprika or Aleppo pepper
(Aleppo Pepper substitute: 4 parts sweet paprika and 1 part cayenne or ancho chile powder)
Earlier in the day, follow the recipe for the pizza dough. Prepare and refrigerate the "Goat Cheese" Spread.
When the dough is almost ready to roll out and bake, heat your oven up to 500°F (heating your pizza stone for 30-60 minutes in the oven, if you have one). Chop the pecans and set aside. Wash, dry and slice the arugula and refrigerate in a plastic bag.
Wash, quarter and core the pears. Slice into 1/4"-thick slices. Toss in a bowl with the olive oil.
Roll out the pizza dough into 9 or 10" rounds as directed in the pizza dough recipe. If you are baking one at a time, top each one just before it goes into the oven.
Spread each pizza crust (leaving a rim around the edge) with 1/4 of the "Goat Cheese" Spread. Sprinkle the "cheese" with 1/4 of the sliced arugula. Top with 1/4 of the pear slices. Sprinkle the pears lightly with smoked paprika or Aleppo pepper and 2 tablespoons of the chopped pecans.
Bake each pizza for about 8 minutes, or until the dough is puffy around the edges and golden and crispy on the bottom. Serve immediately.
Nutrition (per serving): 396.9 calories; 28% calories from fat; 13.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 683.2mg sodium; 419.3mg potassium; 59.3g carbohydrates; 6.9g fiber; 9.6g sugar; 52.4g net carbs; 13.2g protein; 8.3 points.
BRYANNA'S CREAMY TOFU/CASHEW "GOAT CHEESE" SPREAD with Tofu/Tahini "Blue Cheese" Variation
5/8 cup (1/2 cup+ 2 tablespoons) raw cashews, ground fine in a food processor, mini-chopper or coffee/spice mill
1 to 2 tablespoons light miso
1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted and chopped
(or substitute 3 large sun-dried tomatoes in oil, rinsed and chopped)
2 tablespoons minced chives or green onions
Omit the cashews and use 2 tablespoons tahini instead
Omit the miso and use 3 cubes of white Chinese fermented bean curd instead (see Cooking Tips below for info and where to buy)
Use only 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Place tofu in a clean cotton cloth or fine cheesecloth, gather the ends up and twist and squeeze for a couple of minutes to extract most of the water.
This is a very inexpensive Chinese condiment that has a kind of "blue cheese" flavor. (The cubes are very strong-tasting when eaten by themselves, which they aren't meant for-it's used as a condiment.) It comes in little jars (you can see white cubes of tofu in a clear liquid)
and you can get it in Asian grocery stores or the Asian section of large supermarkets. It keeps forever in the fridge, so you can get a few jars when you find it, if you like this dressing.
There are several varieties of this product and may be referred to by different names. If the liquid is reddish, it's got chile in it. Some white varieties have sesame oil in them, too. (amazon carries one with both chile and sesame oil in it.) Check the label. Ideally, you want the kind with just soybeans, salt, water and wine, but I must confess that I have used both the sesame and the chile kind when I had nothing else! I rinsed them gently with running water in a mesh sieve before adding to the recipe. It actually worked fine!
UPDATE: I found some on plain fermented tofu this American website!).
Here's a very informative essay about preserved beancurd (and it's names!) from Dom's Culture-Foods of