Slideshow: Top This: Cashew Cream Pie (à la Portobello)

No cheese? Sacrilege, right?
No cheese? Sacrilege, right?
While your initial reaction to a cheese-free pizza might be disdain or outright ridicule, it's actually pretty damn good—if you have the proper replacement. Rather than using an unnatural "cheese substitute," try some pureed cashews (don't worry, this won't taste like a nut butter pizza).

Get the recipe here

Completely Nuts
Completely Nuts
Pour your cashew pieces into a blender and cover with about half an inch of water. Cover with lid and purée for one to two minutes. Check texture for creaminess, and continue to purée until mixture is completely smooth and free of chunks. Set aside.
Into the Pot
Into the Pot
Grate your nutmeg into a medium-sized pot, then add cashew mixture. Add a pinch or two of sea salt to taste and 1 cup of water, and cook on medium-high heat. Whisk frequently to prevent burning until mixture thickens, then pour through a strainer into a plastic container. Use a spatula to pass all the cream through. Refrigerate until cool, then remove from fridge and mix in water by the tablespoon until cream is slightly runny but not watery.
Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat
Remove pie from oven, drizzle with olive oil, and spread torn basil leaves over pizza. Now slice it and eat it! If you didn't add more water to the cream a few steps back, it would come out congealed here. You want it creamy but not so wet that it spills off the pizza if tipped.
The Sky's the Limit
The Sky's the Limit
You can also use the cashew cream as a base and skip the tomato sauce completely, as on this mushroom and pea shoots pie. The cream really does go well with everything. Experiment!