Sunday, April 8, 2012

Raw Pesto Pizza with Tapenade and Cashew Ricotta

Ok.. let's be real, this isn't a pizza.

Although pesto and tapenade can be found on a traditional pizza, the rest of the ingredients don't really bare any resemblance. The crust is made from buckwheat and flax, brazil nuts stand in for parmesan, and blended cashews make a creamy cheese substitute. 

I love pizza as much as the next person, especially when it's topped with shaved asparagus, butternut squash, or corn and zucchini. I've been cutting way back on my dairy and cheese consumption, so I figured this would be a tasty stand in.  Sure, I could have just piled a ton of vegetables on a pizza crust sans cheese but I wanted to do something a little different...

I've been on a bit of a raw food kick lately.. maybe it's the warmer(ish) weather, or the need to do a little internal spring cleaning, or the fact that summer is on it's way and I'm not sure if my ass is going to fit into my bikini.

I made some buckwheat and flax crackers the other day and decided to use some as a "pizza" crust base inspired by a raw pizza I used to make when I worked at Cafe Gratitude.

So... I whipped up a batch of tapenade using some kalamata olives, capers, garlic, parsley and a little olive oil. Then I made my go-to pesto consisting of spinach, basil, walnuts, olive oil, garlic and a little lemon. 

The restaurant made a delicious brazil nut parmesan which I used to sprinkle on everything.. just brazil nuts, a little garlic and a pinch of salt in the food processor. 10 seconds. Done.

For the cheese, I soaked some cashews for about 4 hours and blended them with a squeeze lemon and some salt thinning it out with a little water.

First I spread the crackers with a bit of the cashew cheese, followed by the tapenade and then the pesto. Then I added a generous sprinkle of the brazil nut parm and a handful of pea shoots.


Raw Food done right.

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