April 17, 2020
This is the first batch of buffalo cauliflower that I have ever made. And I don’t know why, because it was so easy and delicious. It flies out the door when it’s stocked in our deli case. But for me, I suspect that it’s a matter of chef-esthetics; just roasted, fresh-out-of-the oven trumps pre-made, cold-in-the-case any day. So, if you have the time, make it yourself.
I chose to turn my roasted buffalo cauliflower into a pizza, mainly because I was curious to try the frozen cauliflower pizza crusts, aka “cauliPower” ! (This recipe makes enough for 2 cauliPower crusts.) Roasted buffalo cauliflower would also be good mixed in a baked macaroni and cheese dish or as the star ingredient in a rice and grain bowl.
1 medium large head of cauliflower, about 2 pounds
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 tablespoons total) Frank’s Hot Sauce
Pinch kosher salt
2 frozen, prepared cauliflower pizza crusts (1 package, about 11/12 ounces)
blue cheese sauce
8 ounces (1 pint) heavy cream
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled/sliced into small, easy-to-melt chunks
1 cup frozen peas
Pinch of kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Remove the ‘cauliPower’ pizza disks from the freezer.
Prepare the cauliflower
Remove the stem-end from the head of cauliflower. With a paring knife, begin to cut-away pieces of cauliflower into smaller ‘florets’. Then cut the ‘florets’ into smaller 1 ½ to 2-inch pieces. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Toss all the florets in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons of oil. Add just enough oil to coat the pieces of cauliflower. (Excessive oil might just burn on the sheet pan in the oven.) Season with kosher salt and toss again to distribute the salt evenly. (Save the bowl to use again; to coat the cooked florets with the prepared red buffalo sauce.)
Spread the florets out onto a sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and turn the florets over. Return pan to oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes or until pieces of cauliflower can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove from oven when tender.
While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the two sauces.
buffalo sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. When melted, slowly whisk in the hot sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
blue cheese sauce: In another small saucepan and over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Rinse the frozen peas in a strainer under cold running water and shake off excess water. Reduce the heavy cream to thicken a bit. Add the blue cheese and whisk thoroughly to combine. Add the peas and mix. Remove pan from the heat. Set aside. Taste for seasoning. Add a pinch of salt-- how much will depend on the saltiness of your blue cheese. Definitely add some fresh cracked black pepper.
Assemble and bake the pizzas
Put the roasted, tender cauliflower florets back into the mixing bowl. Drizzle with the prepared buffalo sauce and stir to coat. (Re-heat the buffalo sauce quickly if cold and re-whisk to emulsify.) You may not need all of the sauce. Save the rest to serve at the table with the finished pizzas. Taste for seasoning.
Remove the wrappings from each pizza, if any. Lay each pizza disk onto a sheet pan and sprinkle each disk with 2-ounces of the grated mozzarella. Divide the buffalo-coated cauliflower florets on top of each disk. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese has melted and pizzas are sizzling.
Remove pizzas from oven.
Gently reheat the blue cheese cream sauce. Drizzle the blue-cheese and green pea sauce over the top of each pizza. Serve extra sauce on the side.
Use a pizza cutter and cut each pizza into 3 or 4 pieces. Eat immediately!
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