Recipe #13/20: Lentil Pizza! with…..Lentil "Cheese"!

Yeah! Lentil Pizza! To be specific, the crust is made of lentils. Well, that and the lentil cheese, but I digress.
A couple weeks ago, I was walking home from work and was struck with a sudden realization. Back during the epic night of eating at Sutra, which I had already mentioned was the inspiration for the delicious Chocolate Avocado cookies, we also had a spanakopita that contained pecan cheese. When I asked one of the waitresses, she explained that the cheese was actually made from fermenting the pecans and then separating them into curds and whey. I thought, could this work with lentils? Well, I found a recipe for Almond cheese and thought I would give it a try.
It turned out….interestingly. I sprouted a batch of lentils, but decided atleast for the first attempt not to remove all of the casings, like the recipes does with the almonds. Adding the water, I blended them with my stick blender and then covered them with cheese cloth to ferment for a day. After fermentation, they went in a stock sock and I drained them of the whey. The flavor is….well, bland. And since they have low fat content, they don’t really perform like cheese (melting, etc.). But I thought I’d give it a try on the pizza, supplementing with other cheeses.
So now, the lentil pizza. Aside from the cheese, the only lentils that I used were red lentils to make the pizza base. It is quite tasty, but not really like a traditional pizza dough. Best eaten with a knife and fork, this pizza base has a nice, simple savory aspect provided you bench your assumptions about how pizza dough should taste. It is extremely simple, so next time you want to make a pizza give it a try. I used a recipe for the pizza sauce I found online and for toppings I just added some of the lentil cheese, parmesan and chedder (WSU Cougar Gold Smoked Cheddar!) The sauce was quite good, but the kicker?: The lentil cheese. Did it melt like the cheddar? No, but in fact it actually tasted like meatballs. Yup, meatballs. So, enjoy this pizza and in the meantime, I’ve found another use for the lentil cheese. 😀
Lentil Pizza

For pizza sauce
Serves 3-4, depending on toppings and appetite

Ingredients

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 6 fluid ounces warm water (~110 F)
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine tomato paste, water, Parmesan cheese, garlic, honey, anchovy paste, onion powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and salt; mix together, breaking up any clumps of cheese.
  2. Sauce should sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors; spread over pizza dough and prepare pizza as desired.


For pizza base

Ingredients:

7oz lentils

Method:

  1. Grind the lentils in a coffee or spice grinder until they resemble a fine flour. You could use a strong blender.
  2. Sieve the lentils into a bowel.
  3. Put aside a few pinches of the lentil flour in the bowl.
  4. Add to the lentil flour in the bowl 5 tablespoons of water and make into a dough.
  5. You may need to add more or less water to get the dough to the right consistency.
  6. Flour a surface and roll out the dough to a thin circular shape.
  7. Place on an oven tray and heat at 300F for 10 mins in an oven.
  8. Now put the toppings of your choice on, including sauce from above, and return to the oven.

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