I spent last weekend in Miami for a friend’s wedding. The day before my departure I trekked around the city in a blizzard, checking small errands off of my list of to-do’s. The would-be day of my departure I shuffled through JFK trying, and failing, to stand-by on one of several overbooked flights to Florida (my flight had been unceremoniously canceled on my way to the airport at 5am). After a late afternoon sleeping pill and a ten hour slumber, I arrived back at the airport at 6am the next day and hopped two different planes to the sunshine state.
I spent three days in a constant state of ecstasy, staring into the sunshine and drinking a few too many cocktails. No surprise, the highlights of the trip were centered around food. I indulged my love of Caesar salad at least once a day and insisted on dragging my man to find Cuban food. Prior to heading to the airport on our last day, I stumbled upon a true gem. After Yelping the best Cubano for my carnivorous boyfriend, I wandered into an oasis just down the block: Under the Mango Tree. With reggae pumping through its open windows and a wall of natural oils and candles, this tiny spot also offered up a huge menu of juices, smoothies, and earthy options. I had a kale and avocado melt with cayenne and tomato – exactly what I needed to recover from a weekend of partying.
I was back in the city by Tuesday – just as the sun decided to make an appearance, warming this concrete island to a balmy 40 degrees. With a bit of sunshine and lingering tropical vibes from Miami, I decided to throw together a summer-style BBQ pizza in the oven. This ‘za is all kinds of smoky and delicious – give it a shot!
1 bag of Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough (16 oz of dough)
1 block of extra firm tofu, drained (about 15 oz)
2-3 medium heads of broccoli, stem removed and sliced to small florets
1-2 cups of diced scallions
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of corn kernels, drained and/or thawed (or use fresh corn!)
1/2 cup of BBQ sauce
2/3 cup of Hoisin sauce*
Olive oil, salt, pepper
*You could also make this recipe using only BBQ sauce, simply sub the same amounts for Hoisin.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice your tofu block into 1/2 inch thick strips, or into small squares (the shape won’t make a difference). In a mixing bowl, gently toss the tofu with the BBQ sauce until coated, adding more if needed. In another bowl, toss your broccoli lightly in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with foil and baking spray and spread the broccoli and the tofu evenly. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure that everything cooks evenly.
If you have a large enough pizza pan, use the full package of dough at once – otherwise break it into two sections and use two cookie sheets (or bake it in rounds). Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray. I like to shape the dough by holding it up with both hands on top and letting it slowly stretch downwards as you rotate and stretch it gently with your hands. You can also stretch it and then lay it on the pan and use your fingertips to press it farther and farther across the tray.
Once your pizza is stretched and on the baking tray, place it in the 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until it feels solid, you can lift it without any drooping, and the bottom is slightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool, flipping the browned and formerly bottom side face up.
When your broccoli and tofu have finished cooking, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees. Using a spoon or a spatula, spread the Hoisin sauce across the entire surface of the dough. Next, spread the corn, tofu, and broccoli evenly across the pizza dough. Top with scallions and a light dusting of cheddar cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese looks good and melted. Let cool and slice! Serve with Sriracha if desired.