Tonight's meal was a meal full of firsts. These firsts included working with beets, making "pizza dough" from scratch, attempting a balsamic reduction, and discovering that my dad actually does enjoy beets as long as they're disguised in something else!
I found this recipe while combing through one of my favorite blogs, Vanilla and Spice. I couldn't resist trying this recipe, simply because of the sheer originality. Overall, I loved the result. It's definitely not your typical pizza, but it sure is tasty! The beet crust was delicious and was actually quite crusty and bread-like. I loved the way the beet greens and parsley were paired with hummus as the topping instead of the typical mozzarella and marinara.
The only problem I encountered while making this was the balsamic reduction. Vanilla and Spice didn't go into much detail when describing how to make this sauce and it resulted in my burning it slightly. Apparently you're only supposed to let the balsamic vinegar simmer for four or so minutes, but I let it go for about fifteen. It still tasted pretty good regardless, but I'm sure it would have tasted even better if I had done it correctly. For future cooks' sake, I've included a link to more detailed instructions on successfully making a Balsamic Reduction.
One more note to those planning on trying this: This recipe does not make a big pizza. The final pizza makes one small pie of about four slices. If you are planning to feed more than two or three people, then you should double or triple the recipe.
Vegan Beet Crust Pizza
From Vanilla and Spice
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 raw beet, cut into small pieces
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1/2 clove garlic
1 T coconut oil
Pinch of salt
2 cups chopped beet greens
3 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup hummus
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Process sunflower seeds in food processor until finely ground. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and process until mixture forms into a sticky ball. You may need to scrape down the sides occasionally once the dough gets really sticky.
Step 2: Grease a baking sheet. Place the beet dough on the sheet and spread with a spatula into a circle about 1/4" thick. Pinch the edges up to form a crust around the edge.
Step 3: Bake crust for 25 minutes.
Step 4: While the crust is baking, bring a large pot of water to boil. Put the beet greens into the water and boil for abou 4 minutes. Remove from water and immediately douse in cold water. Drain, and dry the greens.
Step 5: Make the balsamic reduction by following the directions on Cookthink.com.
Step 6: When crust is done, remove form the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Spread hummus on crust and follow it by drizzling it with the balsamic reduction. Finally, spread the beet greens over the crust.
Step 7: Bake the pizza for another 20 minutes, let cool, and top with fresh parsley. The crust is a bit fragile, but I could still eat the slice by just holding it.