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Roasted Cauliflower Pizza with Garlic Goat Cheese

Posted Feb 12 2013 8:00am

Lately I've seen a few recipes for pizza come up in my google reader with cauliflower as the crust. Seriously?  Why in the world would anyone replace delicious carby crust with cauliflower?! I know carbs are the enemy and whatnot, but let me tell you as an 85 lb. (and counting!) weight loser, it's not! Diet and exercise, counting calories, and a colorful, plant based diet at the answer! I have my pizza, and eat it too.

After receiving 3 heads of cauliflower in the CSA share last week, I decided to take the cauliflower pizza idea, and make it the topping. To make it flavorful and healthy, I used a 50/50 unbleached white flour/whole wheat flour pizza crust, and roasted garlic infused goat cheese as my base. Roasting vegetables gives them so much flavor, the cauliflower turns a little nutty and the garlic becomes sweeter and less pungent. A sprinkle of parmesan, some fresh thyme and scallions finished the pizza and let me tell you it was phenominal! I paired it with a garden salad and it was a healthy (but delicious) pizza night! For Christmas, we received a pizza stone, and it really does make a huge difference. This is the first time my homemade pizza has bubbled up like the best pizzaria's pizzas do, and yes, that's a life "win" for me!

Roasted Cauliflower Pizza with Garlic Goat Cheese
Veggie by Season original

Crust:3/4 c. warm water (about 110*)1 packet instant yeast1 tsp. sugar1 c. unbleached all purpose flour1 c. whole wheat pastry flour1 tsp. salt1 tsp. olive oil
Toppings:1 head of garlic2 tsp. olive oil, divided1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower, cut into floretsKosher saltBlack pepper4 oz. goat cheese1/4 c. grated Parmesan2 fresh sprigs of thyme2 scallions, thinly slicedCrushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400*Cut top 1/3 of garlic bulb off, place garlic on a square of tin foil, drizzle with 1 tsp. olive oil.Pinch up sides and create an ball around garlic. Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour.
While garlic roasts, prepare crust.Add water, yeast and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer, swirl around to gently mix.After yeast begins to bubble, attach dough hook to the mixer and add flour, salt and oil.Turn mixer on low and knead dough for 8-10 minutes, add additional flour if necessary, dough should be slightly sticky, but pull away from sides of the mixer. Flour surface, form dough into a ball and rest, cover with a damp towel.
Add cauliflower to a baking sheet, toss with 1 tsp. olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper, place in the oven with the garlic and roast for 20 minutes.When garlic is finished, cool and squeeze out 4-5 cloves into a dish, add goat cheese and mix well. Remove cauliflower from the oven and set aside while you prepare the crust, Raise oven temperature to 475*.Stretch dough out and form a circle, top with goat cheese mixture, cauliflower, Parmesan, thyme, scallions and crushed red pepper flakes.Place on a pizza stone and bake for 20-24 minutes, until crisp on the bottom and golden brown on top. Serve.
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