Fig arugula vegan pizza is perfect for the end of summer when figs are in season. Fig pizza? I know, it sounds intriguing. This vegan pizza is topped with creamy cashew cheese, caramelized onions, figs and arugula, all on a whole wheat crust. Tangy, savory, slightly sweet, perfect for dinner on a patio. Enjoy the “Fig Days of Summer” pizza during the dog days of summer.
Is there anything better than a savory pizza on a late summer evening? Growing up, we would order pizza almost every Friday night without fail. It’s a total comfort food for me, and since going vegan I have played around with making vegan pizzas. Usually, I use a butternut squash cheese sauce or pesto. Lately however, I have been experimenting with cashew cheeses. The cashew cheese on this fig pizza has a rich, bold flavor that complements the sweetness of the fruit.
Figs are my quickly becoming a staple in my diet. I eat dried figs as a snack and was so happy to see vegan Fig Newtons at the aid stations in the Ice Age 50 mile race! Figs are high in potassium and manganese, two essential dietary components for runners. (Fun fact: Ancient Greeks would eat figs during training!) Figs are in season in the Midwest from August through October, and typically go on sale, making this fig arugula pizza a great end-of-summer dinner.
Fig Arugula Vegan Pizza
First, cover the cashews with filtered water and let them sit overnight. Did you forget and want the pizza now? No problem! Boil some water and use a quick soak method. Cover the cashews with boiling water and let sit for about an hour and a half. That’s the perfect length of time to make the pizza dough!
To make the dough, mix 4 cups of whole wheat flour and 1/2 tsp of sea salt in a large bowl. Substitution note: You can sub gluten-free flour, you will just have to adjust the amount of water. In a small bowl, mix the warm water and sugar. Add in the yeast and stir. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to proof the yeast. If the surface gets foamy and starts to bubble, the yeast is alive and you can make pizza! If nothing happens then the yeast is dead and you need to get a new packet.
Stir the yeast mixture in with the flour until a shaggy dough ball forms. If there is extra dry flour in the bottom of the bowl, add more warm water, a tablespoon at a time until a uniform dough ball forms. The amount of water depends on the type of flour. Knead for 5 minutes and then form into a ball.
Brush olive oil over the dough, cover and place in a warm, dry spot to rise for at least 1 1/2 hours. After dough has risen, punch down to let the air escape and reshape into a ball. Continue on to make the pizza, or store the dough in an airtight container for a week.
To make the cashew cheese, drain the cashews. Place the soaked cashews, chickpea miso, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, sea salt and boiling water in a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Blend on high-speed, stopping to scrape down the sides with a spatula every few minutes. Continue blending, adding more boiling water 2 tablespoons at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Note: For pizza, I aim for a “hummus-like” consistency so that it’s a bit more spreadable.
To make the pizza: When the dough has risen, roll it out on the pizza pan to about 1/4 an inch thick. Bake at 475 degrees for 10 minutes. While the crust is baking, make the caramelized onions. Thinly slice the onion into circles. In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and stir until they become translucent and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the teaspoon of sugar and continue to stir until they turn a darker brown color, about another 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinaigrette and stir to coat the onions. Allow to cook down until most of the liquid has absorbed, about another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Wash and dry the figs. Remove the stems and slice the figs in thirds length wise. Set aside. When the crust finishes cooking, remove from the oven. Spread about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of cheese on the crust. Top with the balsamic caramelized onions, slices figs and arugula. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and drizzle with additional balsamic vinaigrette or serve as is.
This fig arugula vegan pizza is tangy, rich and flavorful. It’s the perfect balance of savory and sweet. The sweetness of the figs mutes the sharpness of the vinaigrette, and the rich cashew cheese provides a delicious base. During training, I’ve eaten this pizza the night before long runs for a healthy carbohydrate meal.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, take a picture and tag @Rabbitfoodruns on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with.