Remember when I went bananas over this sauce? Well it has made another appearance in my kitchen. This past weekend my advisor kindly held a lab summer get together at his house and the theme was vegetarian, so I was stoked. Therefore being the resident vegetarian, I had to bring my A-game. I thought long and hard about what to make, and in the end decided that a BBQ pizza would be perfect: I was thinking I could cut it up into smaller pieces, making it good finger food, and I would make it interesting and vegan so that I could blow people’s minds. But really, at a summer time gathering, who doesn’t love BBQ sauce and pizza?
Well, I am lucky I made it as “gourmet” as a did… because when I rolled up to the gathering in some ripped jeans and a T-Shirt, I realized it was more of a summer cocktail party than a summer BBQ (which is due to my poor reading skills, the invite never actually said BBQ). My boss had put out quite the spread of fancy hors d’oeuvres and the wine was flowing, so I snuggled my pizza in between some veggie lasagna and Vietnamese salad.
Speaking of flowing wine, we had a friendly wine tasting competition. He had us blind taste 4 under $15 red wines. We had to identify the grape type, rate it (according to NIH guidelines), and give other general notes. Now, a couple of things you should know about me before I continue the story:
1) I am really not a huge wine person.
2) Since moving to California, I have tried hard to become a wine person.
3) I have been wine tasting in Napa/Sonoma twice in the last 2 months alone.
4) When I lived in Italy I could (and often did) take an entire bottle of wine to the face.
Ok, now that we have all of that clear, I would like to proudly gloat that I WON! While I am sure a lot of it was luck, let’s pretend there was a little bit of skill to it too :-). What put me over the edge to win was when he tried to sneak in a bottle of 2 buck Chuck, I just drew a big sad face on that line. So anyways, it is usually a good idea to impress your new boss with your drinking skills, right?
But back to my cooking skills! I have made this pizza before, and enjoyed it immensely. It is a little spicy from the chipotle in the sauce, a little sweet from the sweet potatoes, and a little crispy and garden fresh from the kale. I finished it off with a cashew cream drizzle to cool down the spice and tie everything together. I thought it was great, every bite of pizza was gone, and people kept telling me they loved it (but then again, maybe they just wanted me to share my newly won bottle of wine with them ;-)).
- 1 ball of your favorite pizza dough
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced thin (about 1/4″)
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 batch smoked onion and chipotle sauce
- 1/4 cup cashew cream (but leave out the chipotle quoted in this recipe)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss the sweet potato slices with the olive oil and give a shake of salt and pepper.
- Arrange sweet potato slices on baking sheet in 1 layer and roast for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- Toss the chopped kale with the balsamic vinegar.
- Turn oven up to 450 degrees.
- Roll out pizza dough to about 12″, and pre-bake for about 10 minutes.
- Spread sauce on the hot crust, neatly lay sweet potato slices, and then cover with kale.
- Place back in oven for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and drizzle with cashew cream before serving.
- Best served with friends and coworkers with a full glass of wine. Talking about science is totally optional.