I made this pizza just a few months ago for Valentine’s day, but it’s become my favorite go-to recipe for any special occasion– birthdays, anniversary, bachelorette parties… any time someone you love wants a special party food.
Roasted beets are one of my all-time favorite ingredients, and are even fantastic to eat just on their own. Not only do roasted beets have a rich and sweet flavor, but their color is also beautiful for aesthetics and plating. On this pizza, the whole heart will come out a deep and vibrant red, and then blend beautifully with the melted Violife into a bright pink as you slice it.
This recipe also calls for Romesco, which can easily be replaced for a plain marinara from the store; however, just to make it easy on you, you can use this Vegan Romesco Recipe from my post last week!
Romesco is easy to make in large batches, so make a ton to use for this pizza; then you’ll have a delicious red pepper sauce for any pasta, grain salad, or even Baked Polenta throughout the rest of your week.
Another key to this pizza is the Violife cheese. If you only have vegan mozzarella available near you, no worries– this recipe will be delicious even if you had no cheese at all, so don’t sweat the small stuff. However, if you do have Violife for sale near you, grab it!
Violife is easily one of my top favorite plant-based brands. Their cheese has a suspiciously cheese-like flavor, and the products always melt when they cook, which is something I really look for.
Violife ‘Just like Feta’ actually tastes more like goat cheese to me personally, so it has a very strong sweet-cheese flavor that pairs with the fresh herbs & beets just perfectly. However, if you don’t have Violife available near you, but your local store still carries other plant-based cheeses, keep your eyes peeled for Miyoko’s gourmet vegan white cheeses– many of these would make a perfect substitute.
When I made this recipe, I simply bought a pre-made pizza dough. You can grab prepared vegan pizza dough from the deli at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods– as well as many other stores, I’m sure. Traditional pizza dough is always vegan, so unless someone has decided to make bizarre changes to pizza dough for no good reason (which, as we all know, happens sometimes in the food world), you should be good with any simple pre-made dough.
With pizza dough, the only “tricky” prep is to proof your dough before you start the recipe– which means to simply allow it to rise at room temperature for about an hour. This will make the dough much more pliable and easy to work with; you won’t get any fight-back from the dough if it is proofed.
A simple trick to pressing out pizza dough, if you’ve never done it or are having troubles, is to use only your knuckles to roll out the dough. Make your hands into fists, and then use your knuckles against the dough in a rolling motion– this will ensure that you don’t end up with any air bubbles in the dough, and also that you do not over-stretch or break the dough near the middle. For the crust, simply take the last inch of the edge and fold it inwards, then press it down.
Enjoy this simple pizza, and the party that I hope it is for!
Heart Beet Pizza
Pizza Dough, proofed – 1 package (about 16 oz.)
Beets, whole – 3-4 indv.
Violife ‘Just Like Feta’ – ½ 1 package
Romesco Sauce – 6 fl. oz.
Olive Oil – 4 fl. Oz.
All-Purpose Flour – as needed, to roll dough
Salt – to taste
Black Pepper – to taste
Rosemary, fresh, chopped – to taste
Thyme, fresh, chopped – to taste
Basil, fresh, chopped – to taste
Garlic Powder – to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425F
- Wash your beets, and place into a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and salt into the bowl, and then use your hands to massage the oil evenly over the whole of the beets.
- Place into the oven, and then cook for about thirty minutes, or until fork-tender. When they are finished, simply set aside and allow them to cool.
- While the beets are a-cookin’, get your pizza ready. The pizza dough should already be proofed, so you’re ready to roll it out. Cover a clean surface, such as some open counter space, with a generous amount of flour. Place your pizza dough onto the floured surface, and then slowly press out and shape the dough. (See above for how-to roll pizza dough!)
- Using either your fingertips or a pastry brush, lightly coat the whole pizza and crust with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and garlic powder.
- Now, grab your Romesco sauce and use the bottom of a serving spoon or ladle to spread it evenly across the pizza.
- Take the Violife feta and place about half of the block into your hands, then crumble it evenly over the dough. Top the crumbled feta with fresh rosemary and basil, to taste.
- By now, your beets are probably finished cooking and have cooled. Turn the oven up slightly to about 450F (or the oven temperature suggested for the pizza dough you are using), and then place your beets onto a cutting board.
- The beet’s skin should peel off very easily, and any small parts that might stick can be simply scraped off with a butter knife.
- Once the beets are peeled, slice the beets into very thin rounds– ideally, the slices will be about ¼” thick.
- Place the beets evenly over the pizza, making sure that there aren’t any areas that are stacked too thick. Top with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and fresh thyme, to taste.
- Place into the oven, and cook for about 10 minutes– or until the crust is golden brown and cooked through.
- Allow to cool, and then serve & enjoy!
Thanks for reading!
~ Chef G.