Vegan leek miso pesto pizza

There have been a few posts recently from Kelsey, Laura, and Kathryne that have really resonated with me. Their words, soaked with honesty and authenticity. They reminded me of why I started this blog and inspired me to keep on going. Thank you, ladies. With that I thought I'd share a peek into my kitchen with you today (along with a pizza post below!).

We live in a rental apartment so the red, open cupboards came that way. We dream of the day when our cabinets have doors to hide all of our stuff. This is what it looks like when I'm cooking, but it doesn't stay like this long. I'm sort of a neat freak and love a clean kitchen (as does the husband).
Ok enough about me, let's get back to why you're really here. Pizza!

This week's Food Matters Project recipe is a no-work mostly whole wheat pizza dough with toppings. I followed Bittman's dough recipe to a tee—except I cut it in half, since we're just two people—but had some fun with the toppings, like he suggests. Check out the full recipe over at Niki's blog and see what other bloggers made here.
This pesto isn't just any pesto. It's vegan and the cheese is replaced with healthful miso. Miso!? Yes, miso. Miso is an amazing food. It's benefits are endless. I was taught this trick by Chef Kelly in my natural healthy cooking class last fall. It's a great way to add that umami flavor without the dairy.

Miso walnut pesto
Makes almost 1/2 cup
3 c loosely packed basil
1/3 c walnuts
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp miso
juice of 1 lemon
2 T walnut oil
cracked pepper

Pulse the basil, walnuts, and garlic in the food processor until coarsely ground (or you can do this by hand with a mortar & pestle). Put the miso in a small bowl and add the lemon juice. Use a fork to stir and dissolve the miso. Add to the food processor along with the walnut oil. Pulse until smooth or just let it run for a minute or two. Add a hearty grind of cracked pepper.
We went to our CSA cocktail kickoff last week and I grabbed a few of these beauties to take home. I'm excited to go back to the farm this week and load up on more leeks, radishes, bok choy, chard, and other Spring goodies.
Pizza night is great, because the toppings are endless and everyone is happy. I wanted a pizza loaded with veggies and the husband added mozzarella and chicken to his. Halving the dough recipe was perfect for two, as we each got our own personal pizza. We'll definitely be making this pizza dough again. It was little work, tasted delicious, and was done in minutes.

Vegan leek pesto pizza
1 recipe (or half, like I did) for Bittman's dough or this GF alternative
1/2 c miso walnut pesto, recipe above
1.5 tbsp ghee and olive oil (I like to mix both)
2 leeks, rinsed thoroughly and sliced thin
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
2 c kale, rinsed and chiffonaded
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 asparagus stalks, rinsed and chopped small

Make the dough 12 hours before, if you have time. The longer it sits, the better the flavor. I made ours in the morning and let it sit in the windowsill all day.

Preheat the oven to 450. Half the dough and roll out onto an oiled baking sheet. Cover until ready to use.

Add the ghee and olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the leeks. Add a dash of sea salt, pepper, and red chili flakes, stirring well. After five minutes, add the kale. The leeks should be cooked and starting to brown in places. After about 2 minutes, toss in the garlic. Stir well. When you can smell the garlic and notice the kale has reduced in size, remove from heat.

Take a big spoonful of the pesto and spread over the dough. Add a good amount of the leek and kale mixture. Top with asparagus pieces. Feel free to get creative with your own toppings.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool before eating.