Roasted Cauliflower Olive Tapenade Pizza
on Jan 21, 2021, Updated Dec 04, 2021
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Full of flavor, this hearty roasted cauliflower olive tapenade pizza is topped with tomato sauce, sweet cherry peppers and mozzarella.
We have a small gourmet market in our neighborhood that’s been there for as long as I can remember.
They manage to pack in everything from Cheerios to fruits and veggies to fancy coffee and chocolate all in a tiny footprint.
I am always amazed that most of the time they have exactly what I need even though the shop is nowhere close to the size of an actual grocery.
This place is also my one-stop shop for cheese and charcuterie.
It starts with me choosing a fresh baked baguette from a basket with options from a few local bakeries.
Then I head to the meats, mostly for my husband and son, the carnivores in the family. And they happen to be next to the olives and antipasti.
What I love about these containers of roasted and marinated goodies, including artichokes and tomatoes, is that they are readymade ingredients that can be the start of a great meal.
They are easy to stir into pasta or to use on a pizza.
And they’re the inspiration for this roasted cauliflower olive tapenade pizza.
What is Olive Tapenade?
Tapenade is a spread with olives, anchovies, capers, garlic, lemon and olive oil.
You can find vegan or vegetarian versions. Just read the label or make your own.
No surprise, it is briny and a bit salty.
Hailing from Provence, typically tapenade is served as an appetizer to smear on bread.
So it only makes sense to put it on pizza, especially to go with the tomato sauce on a red pie.
How To Make Roasted Cauliflower Olive Tapenade Pizza
First, I start with making the dough.
Before you ask, yes, it would be fine to use store-bought dough. I will even say that one of those prebaked pizza crusts that you just have to warm in the oven would work, too.
If you are going the from-scratch route, first let the yeast bloom in warm water with olive oil.
Then add the flour and salt. I like using a combination of bread flour and whole wheat flour.
You can knead the dough by hand or let a stand mixer with a dough hook do the work.
Next, pat the dough into a ball, put it in a bowl and cover it giving the dough time to rise.
When the dough is almost ready, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with a pizza stone inside.
Before you can put the toppings on the pizza, you have to roast the cauliflower on a sheet pan tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.
You want the cauliflower to end up lightly browned at the edges
To assemble the pizza, roll out the dough into a rough circle about 14 inches in diameter.
Then carefully transfer the dough to the preheated pizza stone and add the toppings.
First, I spread on the tomato sauce leaving a border at the edges. After that, I dollop on most of the tapenade by the teaspoonful and smear it into the sauce.
The base of the pizza will look like tomato sauce with highlights of olive tapenade.
Next, I scatter on sliced sweet cherry peppers. They are another antipasti/olive bar find.
I love the heat from these preserved peppers, also known as Peppadew peppers.
The roasted cauliflower goes on, and finally, I sprinkle on shredded fresh mozzarella.
I don’t go overboard on cheese and overwhelm the cauliflower. I still want to be able to see it!
In 12 minutes or so, the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, so the pizza is ready.
Before I slice it, I finish the pizza with chopped parsley and spoon on a some additional tapenade.
Roasted Cauliflower Olive Tapenade Pizza
- For dough
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil plus more for bowl
- 1 cup bread flour plus more for work surface
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Cornmeal for pizza stone
- For pizza
- 1 pound small cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup olive tapenade
- 4-5 Peppadew or sweet cherry peppers sliced into rings
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- For the dough, combine the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil and let stand for 5 minutes until foamy. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until it forms a shaggy dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, the dough can be mixed in the bowl of a stand mixer using a dough hook.)
- Gather the dough into a ball, transfer to an oiled bowl and cover. Place the bowl in a warm spot to allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with a pizza stone inside the oven.
- On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt and pepper and arrange it in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is browned at the edges.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 14-inch diameter circle. Sprinkle the preheated pizza stone with cornmeal and place the dough on it. Spread the tomato sauce leaving a 1/2-inch border. Use a spoon to drop 1/2 cup olive tapenade by the heaping teaspoonful, and then smooth it into the sauce. Arrange the sliced peppers on top followed by the roasted cauliflower. Finally, sprinkle with mozzarella.
- Bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown.
- Before serving, spoon on the remaining tapenade by the 1/2 teaspoonful and top with chopped parsley.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.