Author Topic: Cauliflower on pizza  (Read 6933 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Cauliflower on pizza
« on: July 17, 2012, 11:32:24 AM »
I want to try cauliflower on pizza. Anyone tried it? What did you put on with it?

I'd like to use pretty small pieces. Do you think it should be steamed first or put on raw?

Thanks.

CL
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scott123

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 12:12:39 PM »
Definitely steam it first, especially with your bake time. It can get pretty subjective, but I think most people prefer fork tender cauliflower.

Cauliflower is in the same crucifer family as brussels sprouts, so it might do well with pork.

The most classic approaches you can find for cauliflower are gratins and Indian dishes.  Indian dishes, by far, bring out the beauty of cauliflower, more than any other cuisine. The other fantastic aspect about Indian cuisine is that it's very cheese compatible.  Traditional Indian cheese is very mozzarella-ish, especially when fried.

The downside to an Indian approach to cauliflower is that it involves a lot of ingredients/labor- fresh garlic, fresh ginger, sauteing plenty of onions, and of course, a multitude of spices.

If you just want to keep it simple, then I might take a gratin-ish route and work with a bechamel and some cheddar.  No matter which way you'd go, like brussels sprouts, I'd probably avoid red sauce. If you want to branch out (pun intended) into other crucifers, I think broccoli/broccoli rabe are a bit more Italian compatible.  Amano does a broccoli rabe and sausage pizza that's very good. I forget, you've done broccoli pies before, right?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 12:14:16 PM by scott123 »

Offline SinoChef

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 12:17:55 PM »

Maybe braise a head with a little stock, puree it, then slow simmer with some shallots. Reduce the liquid out, so you have an intense paste. And use that for your sauce.

Along with the cauliflower bits for topping.  

Cauliflower would be tough to get a dominant flavor out of. If you just use bits for topping.

A random thought.....

Offline norma427

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 12:19:22 PM »
Craig,

I did try cauliflower in combination with other toppings on Greek pizzas at Reply 300 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,691.msg154696.html#msg154696

I was also trying to make Jim Lahey’s pizza cavolfiore at Reply 116 and the next posts.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12542.msg121731.html#msg121731  That pizza was also in a pan.

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 12:23:33 PM »
Great input all. Thanks!
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 12:24:46 PM »
Craig,

I did try cauliflower in combination with other toppings on Greek pizzas at Reply 300 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,691.msg154696.html#msg154696

I was also trying to make Jim Lahey’s pizza cavolfiore at Reply 116 and the next posts.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12542.msg121731.html#msg121731  That pizza was also in a pan.

Norma

Norma,

What all toppings are on the cavolfiore pie?

Did you par cook the cauliflower first? How long was the bake?

Thanks,

Craig
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 12:28:07 PM by TXCraig1 »
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 12:27:07 PM »
Amano does a broccoli rabe and sausage pizza that's very good. I forget, you've done broccoli pies before, right?

No, it's very difficult for me to find.  >:( But, I did have it with sausage and calabrian chilies at Dough in San Antonio. I liked the pie overall, but I didn't care for their sausage. I think it would be great with the right sausage.

Thanks,

Craig
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Offline norma427

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 12:40:36 PM »
Norma,

What all toppings are on the cavolfiore pie?

Did you par cook the cauliflower first? How long was the bake?

Thanks,

Craig

Craig,

I don’t recall all what I put on my attempt for pizza cavolfiore pie, but I think Jim Lahey’s Pizza Cavolfiore is an intoxicating blend of roasted cauliflower, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Sicilian green olives, red pepper flakes and bread crumbs.

I can’t really recall the bakes times either, but they are a lot longer than a NY style pizza.  I did not cook the cauliflower first, but think I would if the cauliflower was put on a shorter bake.

I would play around more with cauliflower on some my experimental pies at market, but Steve doesn’t like cauliflower on pizzas.

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 12:50:53 PM »
I think I'm going to try a variant of that that uses pancetta as Scott suggested for the saltiness instead of the olives.

I'm thinking:

Fresh mozz, blanched cauliflower florets, pancetta, red pepper, garlic, and parm.

Thanks all for the brainstorming.
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buceriasdon

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 01:16:39 PM »
Craig, I use blanched and marinaded cauliflower as by itself I find it somewhat bland and it does take well to being marinaded.
Don


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 01:25:51 PM »
Great idea, thanks.

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parallei

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 02:17:49 PM »
I did an "al teglio" once with potato, cauliflower, pancetta and pecorino and EVOO.  I roasted the cauliflower (just a bit of EVOO) to get some caramelization and then chopped it.  The potatoes (Yukon Golds) where boiled and finely crumbled and mixed w/EVOO, S&P and thyme.  Cauliflower applied lightly (strong flavor). The crunch of the cauliflower contrasted well with the softer potatoes.  Your idea of some heat would have worked well.....

scott123

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 02:26:37 PM »
Craig, there's nothing wrong with marinaded cauliflower, but, if you're looking for the golden brown cauliflower from Sullivan Street Bakery

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/07/daily-slice-sullivan-street-bakery-nyc.html?ref=title

I would not only skip the marinade, but I'd blanch AND either roast or saute the cauliflower. I can't tell if Jim Lahey gets his golden brown deliciousness from a blanch + longer bake or if it's a blanch + roast + longer bake. Norma are you certain about the separate roasting for the cauliflower?

Regardless of whether or not he roasts the cauliflower, with your shorter bake, you will definitely need to roast (or saute).  To get that kind of GBD, you need a good dose of oil in the roasting pan. I've tried skipping the blanch and roasting raw cauliflower and that ended up a bit  stringy and tough.

If you look at the photo of Jim's cauliflower, you'll see that it's very potato-ey looking.  
To get that potato-ey appearance (and somewhat potato-ey flavor) you have to blanch first.  In fact, I would take it a bit further than a blanch.  This isn't like Chinese restaurant chicken and broccoli, where slightly less cooked, crunchy broccoli can be preferred (imo).
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 02:28:33 PM by scott123 »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2012, 02:58:36 PM »
It looks like the GBD might be coming from cheese and/or bread crumbs. Norma also noted bread crumbs.

For the pie I'm thinking of, I'm nut sure it needs to have any more GBD than the oven can deliver. At least that's what I'm thinking for the first go round. I'm not necessarily looking to recreate the Brussel's sprout pie, though looking back at my topping list, it is pretty much that. I need to think on it some.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2012, 03:06:46 PM »
OK, how about this?

Mozz, cauliflower, anchovies, garlic, red pepper, olive oil, parm?

That way, I get my GBD from the anchovies. It's kind of like a marinade for cauliflower in and of itself.

Scott, I think you're right on about Indian flavors - heck it's almost like serving it right on the naan. I'll may try that next.

I also like the idea of cream rather than cheese. I could do it almost like my cheeseless clam pie with florets, cream, butter, pine nuts, and sorrel maybe?
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Offline jeff v

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2012, 03:39:56 PM »
OK, how about this?

Mozz, cauliflower, anchovies, garlic, red pepper, olive oil, parm?


late to this, but that's almost exactly what I was going to suggest. I would actually roast the cauliflower beforehand and top w parm post bake.Try your way and see how you like it.

You can get some nice complexity from roasted cauliflower that I'm not sure a quick bake would give.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2012, 03:41:37 PM »
Never too late. I'm getting excited about this pie!
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Offline norma427

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2012, 03:47:32 PM »

Norma are you certain about the separate roasting for the cauliflower?


Scott,

I am not certain if the cauliflower is roasted by Jim Lahey, but in this blog it says to roast the cauliflower with olive oil.  http://mostlyfoodstuffs.blogspot.com/2009/07/pizza-cavolfiore.html

At Reply 20 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12388.msg117783.html#msg117783  3rd picture down is where I posted one picture of the pizza cavolfiore and also again at Reply 22  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12388.msg117785.html#msg117785  was the slice I ate 4th picture down.

I guess one of Jim Lahey’s books would have the recipe for pizza cavolfiore.

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2012, 03:53:31 PM »
I just did a search on Lehey's cavolfiore pie and here is what I found:

1 medium Cauliflower sliced with a mandolin set at 1/16
1/2 cup of green olives
2 large cloves of garlic (minced or crushed)
3/4 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 or 2 tbsp. bread crumbs

Combine all and evenly spread the mixture on the dough and cook for 25-30 minutes until topping is golden brown.
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scott123

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Re: Cauliflower on pizza
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2012, 04:03:07 PM »
You can get some nice complexity from roasted cauliflower that I'm not sure a quick bake would give.

That's my thoughts as well.  Maillard reactions are when crucifer magic happens.  Steamed broccoli- meh.  Blanched stir fried broccoli- happy happy joy joy.  Brussels sprouts leaves can get away without any prior cooking because they're so thin, but even grated cauliflower isn't going to be as good as if you blanch and roast it.

Now, if you do roast, you want to be careful, just like when you bake a potato too long and the inside turns dark and less palatable, you can push cauliflower too far.  Blanch it first, then hit with high heat with a pretty good quantity of oil- with the subtle flavor of cauliflower, I might go oo rather than evoo.

And, yes, the bread crumbs are definitely bringing a great deal of GBD to the table.