Saturday, August 2, 2008

No-Bake Tomato-Basil Pita Pizza

I've had big plans to make a vegan Pizza Napoletana ever since I got the new issue of National Geographic, which has a short piece on the traditional pie. Problem is, it's way too hot these days to think about firing up the oven. Instead, I came up with this little guy for lunch today, which still features the triad of tomatoes, basil, and (a vegan version of) cheese. The sauce features fresh tomatoes from the Fargo farmer's market, which I blended with a cashew-nutritional yeast combo I've been using to top pastas and other things where parmesan cheese or gomasio might be nice. The toppings are fresh basil and a few kalamata olives. Pretty good, and I promise to get around to that pizza as soon as it cools off here.

whole-wheat pita bread
10 or so fresh basil leaves, cut in ribbons
a few kalamata olives, or whatever else you have lying around that would be nice on a pizza

1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
2/3 cup raw cashews
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt

1. In a blender or food processor, grind the cashews with the nutritional yeast and salt until the cashews are a coarse powder. This is a great (and cheaper) substitute for the commercial vegan parm products.

2. Add the tomatoes, and pulse just until the tomatoes are incorporated into the nut mixture.

3. Spread the tomato-cashew mixture on the pita, and top with basil and olives. That's as easy as it gets, and a great way to approximate the pleasure of eating homemade pizza in the dog days of summer.

While I'm at it, here's a shot of a salad I made this afternoon (yes, I do eat some things without taking pictures of them). My spinach plants are going to seed and on the way to their reward, so I'm trying to use every last bit of goodness. This is just spinach, cukes, and a tomato, with a few stray basil leaves and a maple-lime-olive oil salad dressing.

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