Pizza night gets top billing in our house. For one, it’s BL’s favorite food. Like, no other food holds a candle to how much this guy loves pizza. When we first started dating, almost a decade ago, our date night’s rotated between pizza and a movie on the couch or pizza and beer out. While our taste-buds and preferences have changed a lot since those graduate school days, suffice it to say we’ve consumed a lot of pizza in our relationship together.
Well, this is not a pizza for BL. This is a pizza for me. While he prefers his piled high with multiple kinds of cheese, jalapeños, mushrooms, pineapple and banana peppers (try it, it’s awesome), I tend to opt for the classic margherita. Give me a little sauce, fresh mozzerella cheese, basil, a chewy crust and game, set, match. If margherita is on the menu, 9 times outta 10, I’m going to order it.
And while I still love regular buffalo mozzerella, I’ve been wanting to experiment with a dairy-free version for a while now. Honestly, I think that’s part of what draws me to eating primarily plant-based, the freedom and creativity to create recipes without the usual dairy suspects.
It’s a fun challenge; If I can’t use that ingredient, what can I use instead? Of course, my goal isn’t just to substitute, it’s to create a product that’s more nourishing to the body while being utterly delicious. That’s where nuts come in. Packed with minerals, plant-based protein and healthy fats, they are usually the perfect alternative to creamy cheeses.
While this cashew mozzerella is great on just about any pizza you prefer, I like it best in this simple version. A thin crust drizzled with fresh basil-oil followed by heirloom tomatoes and dollops of cashew cheese. It’s the perfect salty, creamy counterpoint to fragrant basil and juicy tomatoes.
Unlike other pizzas, it’s not the same warm or cold. With the fresh tomatoes and cheese, it doesn’t keep well, so enjoy this one the same day that you cook it. There’s enough cheese for one large pizza, so double or triple the batch if you plan on baking more.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Vegan Summer Margherita Pizza! Homemade cashew mozzerella, heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil. Mozzerella recipe adapted from Hot for Food.
- 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 20 minutes, then drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (can use black pepper, though it will show up in the cheese)
- 1 prepared pizza crust (either homemade, fresh/frozen or ready-made. I love Trader Joe’s regular pizza crust)
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
- Place all of the ingredients for the cashew mozzerella in a high-powered blender and puree until creamy and very smooth. Place the mixture in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until very thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Rinse out the blender and add in 1/2 cup of the basil, oil, garlic cloves and pinch of salt. Pulse until basil is very finely minced. Set aside.
- Shape pizza crust, then swirl on 1/2 of the basil mixture (about 2 1/2 tablespoons). Layer tomatoes on top, then dollop with cashew cheese mixture.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes (checking around 10 minutes depending on how thin your crust is) until golden brown and tomatoes and cheese are bubbly.
- Remove from heat, drizzle with remaining basil oil and slice. Serve immediately (see notes)
Unlike regular pizza, this one doesn’t taste as good cold as it does warm. Enjoy it right out of the oven!