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Author Notes: I'll get right to the point. The star of this pizza is the tapenade - a smashing combination of briny green olives, toasted almonds, the rich oily heat of Calabrian chili and magical umami-rich anchovies. Sprinkled over roasted cauliflower, fresh chile peppers and creamy mozzarella, this is one fresh and feisty pizza. The only problem with the tapenade is that it's so good, you might find yourself gobbling spoonfuls straight from the bowl, smearing it on a piece of bread, or swiping the prepped cauliflower through it before you have a chance to assemble the pizza, so I recommend that you make a double or triple batch. This way, you can have your nibbles and eat your pizza, too. Calabrian chilies may be purchased in the Italian specialty section of your grocery store. When selecting the fresh chile peppers for the pizza topping, try to select a variety of sweet and hot to your taste. Be sure to taste each pepper before using, as the heat varies from pepper to pepper. I used an Anaheim and a mild Fresno pepper on this pizza. —TasteFood
Serves 2 to 4
Green Olive Tapenade
- 1 1/2 cups pitted Spanish green olives
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds
- 3 anchovies, drained
- 1 Calabrian chili, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons capers
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cauliflower florets cut in 1/2 inch pieces, about 1/2 medium head
- 1 cup thinly sliced fresh chiles, such as Anaheim or Fresno
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 favorite pizza dough - enough for one large pizza
- 1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped Calabrian chiles
- 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 cup Green Olive Tapenade
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- freshly ground black pepper
- Make the tapenade: Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a coarse paste. (Tapenade may be made up to one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until use.) Makes about 1 cup.
- Preheat oven to 500 F.
- Toss the cauliflower and peppers with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt in a medium bowl.
- Thinly roll out pizza dough to desired shape on parchment paper. Lightly brush dough with olive oil. Arrange the mozzarella over the pizza. Spread the cauliflower and peppers over the pizza and scatter the calabrian chilies on top. Sprinkle with the cheese.
- Slide the pizza and parchment onto a preheated pizza stone (or onto a baking sheet placed on the lowest oven rack). Bake until the cauliflower is tinged golden, the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove pizza.
- Drop teaspoons of tapenade all over the pizza. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve warm.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish with Meat as a Flavoring
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