Roasted Cauliflower Pizza on the Grill
Recently I had dinner a friend at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in White Plains. We shared a Roasted Cauliflower Pizza fresh from a wood fired oven. It had a fresh smoky flavor you find in Italian pizzas. The cauliflower was creamy and golden atop a silky ricotta that had a touch of garlic.
I wanted to create the same pizza for our dinner party last night. I made a pizza crust from sour dough starter I’ve been nursing since bread class. I thought the tang of the sourdough would compliment the roasted cauliflower and it did. I tooped the pizzas with salted fresh ricotta, oven roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and organic cauliflower.
Once the dough was ready, I divided it into 3 equal pieces and pressed it into a round flat disk. I then used my knuckles under the edge of the dough moving it around to stretch it into a circle. It actually forms an unusual free form shape but I prefer that to rolling it out with a pin.
I had preheated the gas grill so that it was hot and ready to go. I only use 2 of the 3 burners because I like a cooler side to finish off the pizza with out burning it. This way I can walk away from the grill and not worry.
I placed the dough over the fire, waited about 1 minute and turned it over. I brushed it with olive oil, and topped it with cauliflower florets, roasted tomatoes and bits of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. On the second pizza I crumbled a dried hot pepper from last year’s garden which added a bit of pizazz. Once the crust was set I slid the pizza to the cooler side of the grill, lowered the lid and allowed the cheese to melt.
Don’t load up your pizza with a lot of toppings. It will become soggy but more importantly it will have a jumbled flavor with no one ingredient standing out. It’s much better to use your ingredients sparingly.
I served one pizza at a time cut into bite size pieces. It was an intimate dinner eaten slowly and enjoyed with good company and Italian wine.
If your not inclined to make pizza dough, or you don’t have starter hanging around your kitchen you can buy an acceptable one at the super market. If you would like to try a sour dough pizza crust you will find it here at Sourdough Pizza Crust; King Arthur.
Roasted Cauliflower Pizza
1 head of Cauliflower divided into florets
8 ounces oven roasted cherry tomatoes
salted fresh ricotta
salted fresh mozzarella
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees
Toss the cauliflower florets in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes tossing occasionally.
Toss the cherry tomatoes in olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper and roast for 20-30 minutes depending on their size.
Break the mozzarella into pieces and set aside.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut it into four equal pieces. Press it into a flat round disk and use a rolling pin to roll it out from the center to a thin round pie shape.
Dust a peel or plate with semolina flour and place the pizza on the peel. Slide it onto the gas grill and turn the fire down. Allow the pizza to sit for one minute or so and then using a tong check the bottom. If it is scored with grill marks give it a turn. brush it with olive oil and add your toppings. Lower the lid and allow the cheese to melt and everything to heat. If it looks as though the fire is too hot move the pizza to the cooler side.
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