Welcome to my latest installment of “You made WHAT with cauliflower???” This time, I used the dependable crucifer to make a version of spicy plant-based Buffalo wings. And while I was at it, I thought it would be fun to use it as a pizza topping. Recalling that classic Buffalo wings are often served with ranch dressing, I made a ranch-style sauce to spread on the pizza dough before topping it with the spicy cauliflower.
Jon is used to my cooking experiments, but even he thought this was a bit odd – until he tasted it, that is. In his words, “Wow, this is really, really good!” Fact is, we couldn’t stop eating it! Spicy, creamy, doughy, crisp, delicious – all in one luscious pizza.
This recipe uses a very straightforward classic-style Buffalo wing sauce for the cauliflower, but it would be equally good coated with your favorite barbecue sauce. Likewise, the Buffalo cauliflower can be enjoyed without the pizza crust, with the Ranch sauce used for dipping. (Note: if you don’t like cauliflower (gasp) you can instead use strips of seitan, tempeh, or extra-firm tofu that has been baked or sauteed and slathered with the hot sauce.)
I had some roasted asparagus on hand, so I arranged a few thin spears as spokes between the pieces of cauliflower. You can make your favorite pizza dough (such as the one in Vegan on the Cheap) or save time and use the pizza dough from Trader Joes or another source. Here’s the recipe:
Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza
If you like lots of hot sauce, you can double up on that part of the recipe (it freezes well, too).
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 pizza dough
- 1/2 cup cooked white beans
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the leaves and tough core from the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board, cored side down and cut it into 1/4-inch thick slices, as if you were cutting a loaf of bread. Arrange the cauliflower slices on a baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper, lightly oiled, or sprayed with cooking spray. (You may need more than one pan.) Season the cauliflower with salt and pepper to taste and roast until tender and nicely browned, about 20 minutes, turning once about halfway through with a large metal spatula.
While the cauliflower is roasting, stretch the pizza dough onto the pizza pan and set aside, then make the hot sauce and Ranch sauce.
For the Ranch Sauce: In a food processor, combine the Ranch Sauce ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Set aside.
For the Hot Sauce: Combine the hot sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring until hot and the Earth Balance is melted. Set aside.
To assemble the pizza: Keep the oven at 425 degrees F. Spread a layer of the ranch sauce on top of the pizza dough and set aside. Pour the hot sauce over the roasted cauliflower, turning to coat. Arrange the coated cauliflower on top of the pizza, drizzling any remaining hot sauce onto the cauliflower. Bake until the crust is nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.