Spicy and saucy braised cauliflower is piled onto a crispy flatbread with dollops of almond ricotta to make this delicious vegan Sicilian cauliflower pizza.
I was recently gifted a Blue Apron Sicilian Cauliflower Pizza meal kit. Everything in it was vegan except for the mozzarella cheese, so I simply omitted that and followed the recipe. And I was pleasantly surprised! I really liked this way of cooking cauliflower and the amount of flavor created from a simple list of ingredients. It’s a shame Blue Apron doesn’t offer any explicitly vegan options yet, or I might be inclined to order them once in a while based on this experience.
So after trying the semi-homemade version minus a major ingredient, a totally-vegan Sicilian cauliflower pizza revamp went into somewhere in the middle of my endless recipes-to-make queue. But I came down with a cold this past week (which is also why you’ve waited so long for a new recipe), and I was craving something super spicy and acidic to combat it. So this tangy, red pepper-flecked dish quickly made it to the top of my list.
This vegan Sicilian cauliflower pizza starts with cauliflower, browned in a skillet with onions and garlic, before being braised with a delectable sun-dried tomato sauce. Mine, personally, had a veritable heap of crushed red pepper flakes added on the day, and weirdly enough, Sriracha also tastes pretty good with this if you want to add a dash of that. This sauce also has capers and golden raisins in it, which I realize might be alarming. But the hint of fruity sweetness from the raisins and the briny, tangy bites of capers are great counterpoints to the really tomato-forward sauce, so I really recommend them.
While my cauliflower was braising, I whipped up another batch of almond ricotta and then added big dollops of it to the pizza after spreading on the cauliflower sauce. To finish, once the pizza comes out of the oven, generously sprinkle it with more chopped fresh oregano. This Sicilian cauliflower pizza is SO flavorful despite being easy to prep and cook with not too many ingredients. I hope you enjoy!
Sicilian Cauliflower Pizza
- 1 pizza dough room temperature (use your favorite recipe, store-bought, or my amaranth or whole wheat dough recipes)
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste, please see notes)
- 1 head cauliflower finely-chopped (smaller than florets)
- 1/4 cup loosely-packed sliced sundried tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh oregano divided
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp capers
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp golden raisins
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup almond ricotta heaping
In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat and then add the garlic, onion, and red peppers. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onion and garlic are fragrant and slightly softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and a pinch of salt, and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower starts to brown slightly, 3-5 minutes.
Add the sundried tomatoes, tomato paste, 3 tablespoons of the oregano, capers, golden raisins, and vegetable broth to the skillet, and stir well to combine everything. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. If necessary, uncover the pan and continue to cook until excess liquid is cooked off, (you want the mixture to be juicy and a little saucy, but not watery). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the cauliflower is simmering, preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a sheet pan. Sprinkle a work surface with cornmeal or flour and roll out your pizza dough to fit the pan. Use a fork to gently prick a few a holes throughout the surface of the dough, except for around the edges (to prevent bubbles).
When the cauliflower mixture is ready, spread it out onto the pizza dough, leaving a small border. (Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you may have a little extra). Add dollops of almond ricotta throughout the pizza. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the dough is cooked through and lightly browned. Garnish with the remaining fresh oregano and enjoy hot.
If you don't want this to be, you know, quite spicy, then please reduce my amount of crushed red pepper flakes to 1/4 teaspoon to start, adding more to your taste during or after cooking. I ended up using even more than the amount listed, and also added extra capers, but I *love* super spicy food.
MAKE AHEAD: You can definitely make the cauliflower topping a day or two in advance and store it in the refrigerator until it's time to use it. The almond ricotta can be made in advance as well. What I personally did was soak and skin my almonds before getting started, and then finish making the rest of the almond ricotta while the cauliflower cooked.
GLUTEN-FREE: Use your favorite gluten-free pizza dough. (But I haven't tried any that I like yet, and this rather saucy topping may not be a good match for delicate crusts).
NUT-FREE: Omit the almond ricotta and add a different creamy element of your choice. This might be delicious with dollops of my dreamy roasted red pepper hummus!
NUTRITION FACTS: Nutrition facts exclude the pizza dough and the almond ricotta.
This recipe is adapted from Blue Apron.
Looking for another pizza recipe? May I suggest my super delicious BBQ Chickpea Pizza?