September 18th, 2017
A vegan option.
If you have followed my channel for a while, you will know that one of my favourite dishes is bruschetta.
In the North of Italy, we make them slightly different from the South (which are the more common ones to find in restaurants around the world) and today I’m going to share the way I make them, but with a twist: I’m trying out vegan cheese for the first time.
If you don’t know what bruschetta are, they are basically pizza but in a thicker piece of bread, which is normally oval, with a crust.
The brad I’m using isn’t the right size (in the North we make them quite bit) but it’s the closest thing I could find here in the UK. These are from Crosta & Mollica.
My favourite passata (plain tomato sauce) is by Cirio, which I’ll be using for the base; and then normally I would go for the mozzarella from Galbani, but today I’m replacing it with this Violife vegan cheese, which is supposed to melt and be designed for pizza.
Now, I’m not vegan, but I do try my best to remove all the dairy I can, so I’m always trying out different products to replace my loved ones. When you go with substitutes, it really is a hit or miss.
When I fist went vegetarian, a year and a half ago, I remember trying so many different fake meats before finding things that I liked… but the positive thing is, when you do end up finding something good, you are most likely going to love it, even more than what you are substituting.
For example, when it comes to milk, I can’t even think about the last time I’ve drunk some, as the Oatly milk is actually SO. MUCH. MORE. DELICIOUS. And it doesn’t make me feel sick. So there is no reason at all for me to ever want cow milk.
Anyway, back to the recipe: normally I put the bread by itself in the oven for just a few minutes at 200*C. I do this so that once the mozzarella goes on top and looses it’s milky water, it doesn’t cause the bread to get all soggy.
I wasn’t sure how this vegan cheese was going to react with the heat, so I kept this step, but I can now tell you that once it’s melting, it does not release any water so you don’t need to do this part.
If you do decide to do it, it still helps as what I do next is rub some fresh garlic all over the bread for flavour, and if it’s a bit crispy, it’s easier to spread.
Then I go on and add my passata, leaving just a bit of space from the crust.
Then I chopped the cheese and added it on top. I used the whole thing, which looked like the amount I would use with regular mozzarella, but I actually think you can use much less.
I kept it in the oven at the same temperature for about 15 minutes – which is longer than I would cook mozzarella for – as it didn’t want to fully melt. I believe putting down the heat would help, so it can evenly melt. I also think cutting it into smaller pieces would help, as instead of creating a crust as mozzarella would, it just kind of got clear and crunchy.
As you can see, it didn’t melt like cheese would, but rather kept it’s shape. Once you bite on it, tho, it’s very soft and melted on the inside.
I’ve added chopped tomatoes on top, plus some salt, oregano and olive oil for flavour.
So, for the results: it looks pretty good, and similar to the real thing, but the cheese taste is extremely cheesy for me – like actual cheese – which I didn’t love. I prefer a softer flavour, as mozzarella – to me – is very different from cheese, taste wise.
So, if you are looking for an actual cheese replacement, this is pretty spot on; but if you like me, prefer mozzarella, this may not be for you.
Felix also ate the bruschettas, and he said he LOVED them, as well as the cheese. He kept asking me to make them again. So I guess it really depends on your taste.
I will most likely make them again, since he liked them so much, but I would definitely make the cubes smaller, so they can melt more evenly, and put way less of it on mine so that the cheese taste doesn’t overpower the rest.
Have you guys ever tasted bruschetta? They are so easy to make, and you can add anything you like on top!
If you have any mozzarella (not cheese) replacements for me, please let me know, it would really help.