Recipe: Sweet Potato Pizza with Creamy Roasted Garlic Cashew Sauce [VEGAN]

I'm a sucker for a good pizza but the ones I've made myself never turn out that great. When the whole "Build Your Own Pizza" trend starting hitting California, I was stoked! I thought of all the wonderful ways I could combine veggies and sauces to create something amazing. But, in my excitement at all the wonderful vegan toppings available to me, I always ended up with a hodgepodge of random veggies that didn't really work that well together.

A few of my vegan friends in Sydney made me aware of a pre-made vegan pizza crust available at Cole's. As much as I prefer a homemade crust, the pre-made ones make for an easy, tasty dinner. I went ahead and bought a pack, and decided to try really hard to make a pizza that actually worked and wasn't just a mess of vegetables and sauce. A combination of a garlic cashew cream sauce, Farmer's Market sweet potatoes, tomatoes, arugula, and pesto seemed like it would make a nice, balanced pie. 

My friend Averi and I shared this pizza and both agreed that it was absolutely delicious. As much as I love cooking and sharing my kitchen creations, I am not very confident in the things I make. But this pizza was freaking amazing,  I honestly feel like it belongs in a restaurant. Don't mean to toot my own horn but, #whatever, it's true. ;)

Sweet Potato Pizza with Creamy Roasted Garlic Cashew Sauce | @diningwithdevyn

Sweet Potato Pizza with Creamy Roasted Garlic Cashew Sauce | @diningwithdevyn

Sweet Potato Pizza with Creamy Garlic Cashew Sauce

-1 pre-made pizza crust (or homemade, if you prefer)

-1 sweet potato

-1 ripe tomato

-1/2 cup arugula

for the Cashew Sauce

-1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for at least four hours

-half a bulb of garlic (about 4 cloves)

-1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

-1/4 cup water

-drizzle of olive oil (for the garlic)

-salt and pepper to taste

for the Pesto

-three cups loosely packed basil leaves

-1 clove garlic, chopped

-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more if necessary

-1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

-salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 230 degrees Celsius. Poke holes in your sweet potato using a fork. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in oven. Cut the ends off of your 1/2 garlic bulb, so the cloves are exposed. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, and place in the oven. Let the garlic and sweet potato bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the potato is tender and the garlic cloves have become creamy. 

Remove the potato and garlic from the oven and unwrap the foil. Let the potato cool while you prepare the garlic cream sauce. It's ok if the sweet potato isn't entirely cooked through, as it will bake for about 7 more minutes while you're baking the pizza. Drain the cashews from the water they have been soaking in, and place in a blender along with the 1/4 cup water, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Next, grab your roasted garlic and scoop out the creamy cloves. Place the equivalent of 3-4 cloves into the blender. Blend until the sauce has become thick and creamy, adding more water if necessary.

Once your sweet potato has cooled enough to handle, cut it into thin slices. You'll only use about half of the potato, so wrap up the remaining bit and enjoy in a tofu scramble for breakfast the next morning (like I did!). Set aside the sweet potato slices. Next, you'll do the same thing to the tomato. Cut into thin slices and set aside.

Remove the pizza crust from the packaging and place on baking paper on a baking sheet. Using a spoon, slather the garlic cashew cream sauce all over the dough, making sure it's even everywhere. Feel free to use as much sauce as you like (I recommend using quite a bit!). Next, place the sweet potato and tomato slices evenly on top of the cream sauce. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, and place in the oven for about 7 minutes (or more if you're using fresh pizza dough).

While your pizza is in the oven, prepare the pesto by placing all of the ingredients in the blender. Blend until it has become creamy and smooth. Place in a container with a pourable spout. Once your pizza is done, drizzle the pesto all over it (you will likely have some left over). Sprinkle the arugula all over. Cut into slices and enjoy :)