Aug 20, 2016

Vegan four seasons pizza a.k.a Quattro stagioni (yeast free)


When I was a little kid, my family used to buy this pizza from time to time. It was frozen and it had a fancy name - "Four seasons". The pizza had four sections and each section had its own topping. They all represented different seasons. I remember that our pizza had mushrooms, ham and broccoli. I can't remember the last section. Maybe it was tuna? But even then, I was a huge fan of broccoli. It was my most favorite part of the thing. All the pizzas usually had ham, sausage or minced meat on them, so I just loved the idea that a pizza can be topped with juicy green broccoli.

For some reason, this pizza came to my mind again. And I am thankful for that! The memory inspired me so much, that I created my very own version of this old favorite. The outcome was really special and unbelievably tasty. And you wouldn't believe how FUN it was to decorate it and bake it. And even more fun to pick my favorite slices and eat them. So if you want to uplift your mood and get your belly full and happy in the process, this is the recipe for you.



I also love the fact that almost all of the pizza toppings are seasonal and home-grown this time. Beets are from my mom's garden, broccoli is also grown in Estonia and we picked the mushrooms ourselves. I used chanterelle mushrooms but you can definitely use any kind of edible mushrooms as a topping.

I have this quirk that I don't like when pizza is topped with raw ingredients. Like raw onion slices, garlic, zucchini, paprika or mushrooms. They tend to get dry in the oven and sometimes they have this unpleasant strong taste. I always sauté and season the ingredients a little bit, before I add them to the pizza. Every detail is important! I hope you will have fun cooking this beauty and you enjoy it as much as we did :)


Preparation time: 45 - 50 minutes

Serves: 12 - 16 slices, 3 - 4 people

Crispy thin yeastless pizza crust:

  • ½ cup / 90 g whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup / 160 g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp / 150 ml cold water
  • ½ Tbsp oil

Easy pizza sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp (unrefined) sugar
  • ¾ cup / 200 ml tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

Pizza toppings:

  • cashew mozzarella
  • 1 cup / 100 g chopped fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 ½  cup / 100 g chopped mushrooms (chanterelles, white mushrooms etc.)
  • 1 small boiled beet
  • few tablespoons of green and/or black olives (Kalamata for example)
  • little bit of oil and salt for cooking
  • little bit of oil for the pizza crust

Directions:

Prepare the pizza crust: mix flours with salt and thyme. Add water and mix. Start to knead the dough. Add oil and knead more, until you have an elastic dough ball. Let it set.

Now prepare the pizza sauce. Heat up a pan, add oil and chopped garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Add dried herbs, salt and sugar. Cook for 10 seconds. Add tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. Mix and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove the heat.

To make the cashew mozzarella, boil the cashews for 15 minutes. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 480 F / 250 C. Now prepare the toppings. Sauté the broccoli with a little bit of oil and salt for a couple of minutes. Put the broccoli into a bowl. Now sauté the mushrooms on the same pan. Set them aside. Peel the boiled beet and cut it into thin rounds. Also, put the olives ready. When the cashews have been boiling for 15 minutes, make the cashew mozzarella following the instructions. You don't have to make it too thick this time, let it be pourable.


Now take the dough ball and start to roll it on a floured surface. Roll it into a large, thin and rounded pizza crust. The diameter should be about 16 inches / 40 cm. It has to be thin, since it will not rise in the oven. It will be exactly like you roll it. Now put the pizza crust onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper. I usually roll the pizza crust as wide as the baking tray.

Spread about a tablespoon of oil onto the crust. Now spread the cashew mozzarella on it. Add pizza sauce. I recommend to scatter the sauce with a fork. Now imagine that the pizza has four sections and each section has its own topping. First is broccoli, second is mushrooms and so on. When I added the beets, I also sprinkled a little bit of salt and chipotle chili powder on them. When the oven has reached its temperature, bake the pizza for 12 minutes or until the edges are crispy and golden brown.

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