Friday, March 23, 2012

White Pizza with Roasted Cauliflower

For those of you who follow us regularly, it won't come as any surprise that we don't always make pizzas with red sauce. In fact, more often than not, we opt for some sort of alternative to a tomato-based spread. In spite of that adventuresome spirit, we haven't legitimately explored the White Pizza in all its glory.

Without scientific data to back up this claim, it seems like many white pizzas are topped with vegetables, while many red pizzas tend to involve meat. However, the density of high-fat dairy products on white pizzas (i.e. Alfredo sauce + too much cheese) probably makes them much less healthier than their crimson counterparts.

Enter Pizza Your Face.

We [pretend to] eat health-consciously and we eat a lot of pizza. So it stands to reason that we would look for a way to bring you a white pizza with a little bit nutritional value.

Enter the roasted cauliflower.


Lookie here at all these great nutrients. And then start munching because you'll feel totally indulgent when you taste the cauliflower.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F with the pizza stone in the oven. Cut apart a whole head of cauliflower (maybe 2?) into large florets and give them a good rinse. Cut the florets into 1/4-inch slices. Mix a pinch of salt into about 4 tablespoons of olive oil and toss the cauliflower with the oil. Roast them on the pizza stone for about 30 minutes total, turning every 10 minutes, until they are very brown and caramelized. They will shrink a lot. Cool them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

For the last 8-10 minutes, throw in 4 whole garlic cloves, also tossed in olive oil, and roast them until the outsides start to brown and the insides are soft.

Keep the cauliflower away from your significant other, because otherwise the entire batch will disappear in about 5 minutes... 

Melt 1.5 tablespoons of butter* in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to get bubbly and start to brown. Once the foaminess starts to die down, stir in 1.5 tablespoons of flour and heat for 1 minute. Slowly add 3/4 cup of milk (room temperature is better than cold), then a pinch of salt and a dash of cayenne powder, and whisk non-stop for 5-8 minutes until the mixture boils and thickens. Throw in the roasted garlic cloves and blend until smooth.

*Yes, use real butter. A minor amount of fat makes it all worthwhile.

TOPPINGS (layered in this order):
To avoid making the crust soggy, be sure you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go up front.
  1. Whole wheat crust, par-baked
  2. Spread of the white sauce
  3. Grated mozzarella and Parmesan - just enough to help the toppings stick, but don't go gooey on this one
  4. Lots of roasted cauliflower
  5. Thinly sliced shallots
Pop it all back in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 8 minutes. Top with freshly ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a little extra grated Parmesan.

I'm salivating again just thinking about it.

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