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Roasted Cauliflower Pizza with Roasted Garlic and Pine Nuts

September 21, 2011

Friday night pizzas have been a long time tradition for my family.  And the funny thing is regardless if anyone is even going to be around to eat the pizza, I continue to come home from work and prepare one!  It’s so routine for me, as a relaxing finale to my work week.  With a glass of wine in hand and my dough has been prepared the day before; my pizza comes together within an hour.   It will be there for my son at any time and leftover slices for lunch over the weekend.  

My son is strictly a meat lover; pepperoni or sausage and frowns and picks off anything other than that!  I, of course, love to experiment and make different types.  While I grew up on the Sicilian thick pizza which my mother made in large rectangular baking sheets, I prefer a thinner crust pizza.  Grilled pizzas are a summer favorite I adore having that extra crispy grilled crust!  But mostly my oven does its magic, using a pizza stone at times, or simply this fantastic pizza screen which is basically a mesh surface that has little barrier for heat, like using nothing at all so the pizza cooks faster than in a pan.  

This veggie topping of roasted cauliflower is first slightly roasted in the oven to soften the cauliflower and then finish roasting on the pizza.  I’ve added in pancetta at times and varied the final topping of fresh herbs from parsley to sage to rosemary.  It’s not an overly cheese pizza, the pine nuts and bread crumbs add a tang and crunch to the pizza.  For a bit of spice, I like to add in crushed red pepper or a drizzle of hot sauce; but that’s just me and my spicy habit.

Roasted Cauliflower Pizza with Roasted Garlic and Pine Nuts

For the roasted cauliflower and garlic:

1 Cauliflower head, cut into florets – about 2 cups of roasted florets are needed per pizza

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 whole garlic, cut in half (should roast quicker cut directly in half)

For the bread crumb topping:

2 tablespoons pine nuts

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pizza:

Pizza Dough – see recipe below

2 cups fontina or mozzarella cheese, grated

2-3 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley, or rosemary or sage

Optional topping of 1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place the cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet, drizzle over the oil and salt and pepper.  Place the garlic halves cut side down on the sheet.  Roast for 25 minutes, until lightly browned and soft but still crisp as the cauliflower will continue to roast when baking the pizza.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, oregano, parmesan cheese and olive oil mixing together well.  To make the pizza, layer the pizza dough with the Fontina or Mozzarella cheese, then the cauliflower florets.  Squeeze the roasted garlic bulbs around the pizza and top with the bread crumb mixture.  Place in oven and roast until golden brown approximately 10-17 minutes depending on the heat of the oven.  Remove from oven and sprinkle on fresh herbs. 

Pizza Dough

1 envelope dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons / ¼ oz)

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 cup warm water (110 degrees)

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

3 cups flour (I have used all purpose white flour, whole wheat white flour, or bread flour or a mix!)

2 tablespoons olive oil (basil or rosemary flavored if available)

Cornmeal or semolina as needed

Using a stand up mixer with dough attachment, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Yeast should begin to foam which means it is “alive”.  Should the yeast not begin to foam, toss and begin again as the yeast is not “alive” to proof.  (Make sure the temperature of the water is also not too hot or too cold as this will affect the yeast as well.)  Mix in 2 cups of flour, salt and olive oil.  Knead with the dough attachment for about 5 minutes while slowly adding in the remaining one cup of flour.  Mix for another few minutes as the dough becomes smooth and elastic.    Remove the dough from the mixer and form into a ball with your hands on a floured surface.  Coat with oil and place in a large bowl.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.  If using quick rise yeast, the dough will rise in about 1 hour.  At this point, I normally place the dough in the refrigerator overnight and bring out the next day to rise for 2 hours.  I find that the texture is better when refrigerated overnight as well as finding it easier making pizzas when I prepare the dough ahead of time. 

Preheat oven to 425 – 450 degrees.  If using a pizza peel to slide the pizza into a baking stone, place the baking stone on the bottom rack now to heat at least 15 minutes.  When dough has risen, punch down and let dough rest 10 minutes.  Flatten dough and gently stretching and pulling into shape.  If dough is resistant, wait 5 minutes and begin again.  If using a pizza peel, lightly dust the peel with semolina or cornmeal and place the pizza on the peel.  If not using a peel, place pizza on a lightly oiled pizza pan or pizza screen.   Brush edges with oil and sprinkle with cornmeal (optional).  Add toppings.  Place in oven and bake for approximately 10-17 minutes – depending on the heat of your oven and thickness of your pizza.  Remove and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before cutting.

* When making 2 pizzas, I increase the flour to 4 cups, the water to 1 ½ cups, salt to 1 ½ teaspoons and olive oil to 2 ½ tablespoons.  I do not increase the sugar.  After the dough has risen, divide the dough into two and proceed as above.

42 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2011 10:47 am

    I love these toppings. (Katherine’s not big on cauliflower, but I enjoy it.) Friday night pizza and wine is such a great tradition.

  2. September 21, 2011 10:53 am

    Wow, what a delicious-sounding and gourmet pizza! Now if I could only get my bf to eat cauliflower…or perhaps I should make it allll for myself :)

    • September 21, 2011 2:24 pm

      Has your bf ever had his cauliflower roasted? I know it’s changed many of my friends opinion of cauliflower! In fact, any veggie roasted just tastes better!

  3. September 21, 2011 11:01 am

    Whoa – stealing this dough recipe for my next pizza-time, and that topping looks incredible… so professional, like something out of a gourmet pizzeria! Beautiful – thanks for sharing :)

  4. September 21, 2011 11:29 am

    Only recently have I started roasting cauliflower and I really do enjoy it. The idea of putting some on a veggie pizza sounds wonderful! Like your son, I love a meat pizza but, every now and again, I’ll devote half of the pie to veggies only. Next time I do, roasted cauliflower will be included, thanks to you.

  5. September 21, 2011 11:54 am

    that looks great, we are still doing BLT’s on fridays but soon the tomatoes will be finished then maybe i will do pizzas.. this one looks very tasty and I LOVE roasted cauli, i do it when i roast a chicken .. c

    • September 21, 2011 2:21 pm

      Whenever I’m roasting one thing, I through in something else – garlic, veggies, an eggplant for dip…multi-tasking in my oven!

  6. September 21, 2011 11:59 am

    Wow this looks amazing! I love meat but much prefer veggies on my pizza. Would never have thought of putting roasted cauliflower on top – what a fantastic idea.

  7. September 21, 2011 12:22 pm

    Aw, my mom used to do pizza Fridays too! I miss that–no family traditions when you’re living on your own. Okay, okay, I COULD make myself pizza, but that’s not nearly as much fun as mom pizza! Love the idea to top it with cauliflower, I looove cauliflower!

    • September 21, 2011 2:22 pm

      Actually I really do miss having my kids around for these dinner nights, it would be so much more fun!

  8. September 21, 2011 1:25 pm

    anything that uses cauliflower is a winner with me, its such an underused vegetable. Looks delicious.

  9. September 21, 2011 2:11 pm

    Yum! This sounds and looks so tasty right now in these chilly temperatures!

  10. September 21, 2011 2:18 pm

    I love veggie pizzas…my favorites..The idea of putting roasted cauliflower on pizza is just wonderful and different!! Pine nuts just give a very classy touch!! Bravissima!

    • September 21, 2011 2:23 pm

      Thank you! I’ve waited over a year to post pizza; I just don’t know why when I make it weekly!

  11. September 21, 2011 2:48 pm

    Contrary to many people I love cauliflower and I love the way you paired them with bread crumbs. Thanks for the pizza screen tip! I have never heard about it.

  12. September 21, 2011 3:37 pm

    Pizza with cauliflower added? I’m totally in. You bet your *** I’m making this lol. Love it

  13. September 21, 2011 3:43 pm

    We started doing roasted cauliflower last year, and fell in love with it…Never would have thought of putting it on a pizza, how cool!

  14. September 21, 2011 3:50 pm

    This looks wonderful. I love cauliflower!

    Did you change something? The header? I like it!

    • September 22, 2011 3:22 pm

      Yes, you’re not seeing things! I keep playing around with the header…not sure what I like!!

  15. September 21, 2011 4:26 pm

    This pizza sounds awesome, Linda! Great combo for the toppings. I love pizza nights, homemade or take-out, but homemade is always better of course. :)

  16. September 21, 2011 4:27 pm

    great looking pizza and I love the combination of ingredients!

  17. September 21, 2011 4:37 pm

    Why have I never thought of this combination Linda?! You are a genius. I hope you know that. Roasted cauliflower is so yummy and I can’t think of a better way to top my pizza. BTW…I am totally addicted to the eggplant and fontina sandwiches you posted awhile back. I have been bringing a couple to work everyday this week and am not tired of them yet!

    • September 22, 2011 3:23 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoy them! I too happily bring in the leftover to work! They are great warm or cold!

  18. September 21, 2011 7:25 pm

    Our minds seem to be aligned with each other when it comes to what we are cooking. You were talking about meatloaf and I did a post. I cooked my Sicilian pasta with roasted cauliflower today and you made a pizza with roasted cauliflower. The pizza sounds great!

  19. September 21, 2011 7:54 pm

    I love that you put cauliflower on your pizza – I think that rocks! roasted cauliflower is a delight and combined here with garlic and pine nuts… wow, each bite must deliver some pretty wonderful texture and flavour. Love the lighting in your first shot.

  20. September 21, 2011 11:35 pm

    We always had pizza on Friday nights when I was growing up too! Such great memories you gave me as I was reading this. I need to do that with my kiddos too. :) I’m not sure if I’d like the cauliflower, but I’d certainly be willing to try. I’m a big fan of garlic and pine nuts. Now I’m hungry again…LOL!

  21. September 22, 2011 4:50 am

    What a great use of cauliflower! We love cauliflower but do get bored with it every now and again – this certainly take the boring out of it!
    Have a super day.
    :-) Mandy

  22. September 22, 2011 5:42 pm

    Looks fabulous! I love cauliflower!

  23. September 23, 2011 8:18 am

    I love cauliflower even more so when it is roasted. The goodness of the garlic, pine nuts and cauliflower is almost to much for me to handle. It looks amazing, the perfect pizza in my book! SImply stunning

  24. September 23, 2011 11:13 am

    I can honestly say I have never heard of cauliflower on a pizza before. Now I’m wondering why – looks absolutely great.

  25. September 23, 2011 11:27 am

    This looks fabulous. I’ve got to subscribe. I’ll tuck it away for when cauliflower and romanesco start rolling in in the cooler months.

  26. September 23, 2011 12:57 pm

    I’ve never roasted cauliflowers but I have to say it’s one of my favorite veggies, and it’s so rare to find good recipes. I am really surprised to see it on pizza! I MUST try this!

  27. September 23, 2011 8:48 pm

    I love this recipe! That’s the only way I like to eat cauliflower, roasted! I should have read your email this morning before ordering pizza! I was too busy to make one from scratch today! I feel so behind since the kids got back to school, my two year old is a terror and so bored without his brothers he keeps me busy. Perhaps I should make some fresh dough and have him help me to channel his energy! lol

  28. September 24, 2011 12:11 am

    What an AMAZING pizza! I love the flavor combination and so creative!

  29. October 5, 2011 7:12 am

    That’s a new one…wild combination. I’d love to try that.

  30. October 20, 2011 10:31 pm

    Roasted cauliflower, what a great idea!!! This looks to die for, making this very very soon :)

  31. Sweet T permalink
    March 8, 2013 5:26 pm

    Italian Fried Dough, YUM! This definitely brings back childhood memories at my Grandma’s home when her house doors were open all dy long. She worked hard for this during the 2 times in the year and how long of a preparations for them, too. Love them Italian recipes so keep them coming and I will share with my friends as well.
    Thank you,
    Sweet T

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