Pierogi Pizza with Dill Pesto

Sunday has been my regular meal prep day for quite a while now and I find myself increasingly looking forward to my routine – it provides some consistency, a momentary reprieve from the general chaos of the week. I find cooking calming, and I get a sense of immense satisfaction when it’s all done and even more so when the food turns out well.

This past Sunday was especially sweet.  After a harsh and intense bout of brutal winter temperatures, the weather took a very agreeable turn.  Being outside was actually tolerable and after a morning coffee in Kensington Market and a short, pleasant walk around Chinatown, I rounded up the last of my needed groceries and headed home to cook.

My first attempt at a vegan Wellington (thanks Vegan Huggs for the recipe: https://veganhuggs.com/vegan-wellington/) turned out beautifully, and I was also quite pleased with how this recipe turned out on my first go.

In my unending quest to find new and innovative ways to prepare and deliver my most of favorite of foods – pizza – I’ve recently begun brainstorming some unconventional toppings.  Perhaps inspired by the growing popularity of poutine pizza, I thought why not try Pierogies, because who doesn’t love Pierogies?!

If starch on starch/carb on carb food is not your thing – probably best to avoid this recipe, but if you’re feeling hungry and indulgent, give it a whirl – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Ingredients:
Pizza dough for two 10 inches pizzas or pre-baked crusts.  I used my wonderful new bread-maker to make the dough, but it’s not difficult to make it by hand either.

Here’s a link to a pizza dough recipe by the one and only Martha Stewart https://www.marthastewart.com/332275/basic-pizza-dough

For the Sour Cream:
2 cups of cashews
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tsp of salt
¼ cup of water

For the Pesto:
40 grams of chopped dill (3/4 cup of chopped dill)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp of salt
1 heaped tsp of chopped garlic
1/4 cup of vegan mayonnaise
1 tbsp of mustard

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Toppings:
2 cups of vegan pierogies ( I used the herb and roasted garlic ones from Pelmen foods)
Grape tomatoes
Arugula

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Line a medium sized baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
3. Make the Pesto.  In a blender or food processor, combine the dill, olive oil, garlic, and salt.  Pulse until a paste-like texture is formed.  Add the vegan mayonnaise and mustard and blend again until creamy.  Set aside.
4. Cook the pierogies.  In a medium-sized pot, bring about 1 liter of water to a boil.  Add the pierogies and reduce to medium heat.  Cook the pierogies for about 10 minutes (if frozen), checking the texture frequently with a fork.  You don’t want them too soft!  Drain the water once cooked and set the pierogies aside.
5. Roll out the pizza dough (skip if using pre-cooked crust).  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin.  This pesto recipe makes enough for about two 10 inches medium pizzas so you can roll out the dough to roughly that diameter.
6. With a knife, spread the pesto out across the dough.  You want it to be fairly thick, as the pesto will dry out quite a bit while the crust is cooking.  Layer the pierogies out across the dough, then add the grape tomatoes and arugula.
7. Cook the pizza at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.
8. Make the Cashew Sour Cream.  In a blender or food processor, combine the soaked cashews, lemon juice, salt, and water.  Blend until smooth.
9. Serve the pizza hot with a dollop of the sour cream on top!

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