Go Back

Vegan Cilantro Pizza w/ Shiitake Mushrooms and Savory Eggplant Sauce

Jocelyn Eikenburg
Fragrant cilantro in the dough, a savory eggplant sauce and shiitake mushrooms as a topping make for a uniquely delectable pizza that's vegan and also echoes flavors of the East and West. Make the dough in your bread machine for an easy pizza night at home!
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • Bread machine (optional - see notes)
  • Food processor
  • Pan

Ingredients
  

Pizza dough

  • 15 grams fresh cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 360 grams bread flour
  • 24 grams olive oil
  • 6 grams salt
  • 24 grams sugar (I prefer brown sugar, but white is also fine)
  • 220 milliliters water
  • 5 grams yeast

Pizza sauce

  • 15 grams fresh cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant (I prefer round, but any kind of eggplant that's good for baking is fine)
  • 5 grams lemon juice (fresh or bottled is fine)
  • 10 grams olive oil
  • ¼ small onion
  • 7.5 grams tahini or other sesame butter of choice
  • 1.5 grams salt

Mushroom topping

  • 5 shiitake mushrooms finely sliced

Instructions
 

Prepare the dough

  • Finely chop all the cilantro -- for dough and sauce -- then set aside in a bowl.
  • Finely chop all the garlic, then set aside in a bowl.
  • Add half the chopped cilantro and half the chopped garlic into your bread machine pan. Then add the flour, 24 g of olive oil, sugar, 6 g of salt, water and yeast into your bread machine pan as per your breadmaker's instructions (see notes for alternatives, should you not have a bread machine). Select the dough setting and start the machine (for mine, the process takes 1 hour 30 minutes).
  • Once dough is finished, let it rest for up to 30 minutes for fluffier dough (though if you are in a hurry, you can use the dough right out of bread machine).

Prepare the sauce

  • While dough is in progress, cut the eggplant into four equal pieces. Rub olive oil on the exposed meat of the eggplant, then place on an oiled baking tray. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at 230 C (450 F), flipping the pieces at least once during the process, and ensuring both sides are seared. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes
  • Peel the meat of the eggplant off the skin, then place eggplant meat into a mesh bag. Twist the top of the bag to place pressure on the eggplant, squeezing the majority of the water out of it. (Be careful not to squeeze too much -- otherwise you'll reduce the amount of eggplant).
  • Add the remaining half the garlic and the cilantro to a food processor, along with the lemon juice. Then add in eggplant, onion, tahini, 10 g of olive oil and 1.5 g of salt. Pulse it until the eggplant mixture has the consistency of a paste; the onion may still be in small chunks or pieces, which is fine.

Prepare topping

  • Finely slice the shiitake mushrooms.

Assemble pizza

  • Lightly oil your pizza pan. (I use a rectangular one that measures 22 cm x 30 cm (9 in x 12 in)).
  • Work the dough into the shape of your pizza pan, then transfer it to the pan and continue working it with your hands, pushing down from the center out to form a crust on all sides.
  • Spread the sauce generously on top of the pizza base.
  • Top with the sliced shiitake mushrooms.
  • For a crispier crust, brush the crust with olive oil.
  • Bake the pizza for 20-25 minutes at 200 - 215 C (400 - 425 F), until the crust is golden brown. Cut and serve immediately.

Notes

No bread machine? No problem -- you can still make this pizza by using the same dough recipe, but following instructions for making dough by hand. 
To make dough by hand:
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water (making sure you use warm water) and let it sit for 10 minutes, until the water looks creamy. 
  2. Add the flour, olive oil, sugar, salt, garlic, cilantro and yeast/water to a large bowl. Mix everything well to combine all the ingredients, until you have a sturdy dough. 
  3. Cover the dough and let it rise until it has doubled in size -- for at least 30 minutes.
If you can't make the eggplant sauce, the cilantro pizza dough can pair well with other sauces. You could add a classic tomato sauce, or an olio e aglio (olive oil and garlic), or even a vegan pesto of your choice (I also love cilantro, olive oil, garlic and walnuts).
Shiitake mushrooms make for a savory topping, but they're not the only option. Any classic veggie pizza topping you happen to have on hand works great too.
Keyword cilantro, eggplant, pizza, shiitake, vegan