Stella 34's Cavolfiori
The silky cauliflower puree keeps the pie moist, with added depth from roasted florets. The Meyer lemons deliver a sweet, citrusy floral note, with some crunch from the breadcrumbs.
Cook the Cauliflower
To make the cauliflower purée, start by coring one head of cauliflower and chopping the head into large pieces (as pictured). Dice the stem, which can be used in the purée along with the florets.
Put the chopped cauliflower into a medium sized saucepan with 1 1/4 quarts of heavy cream (or just enough cream to cover the cauliflower). Put a lid on the pan and cook the cauliflower over medium heat until it is just tender.
Strain the cream from the cooked cauliflower and reserve.
Puree the Cauliflower
Add the cauliflower to the blender along with a scant amount of the reserved cream. The puréed cauliflower should be as smooth as possible, but still thick.
Season the purée with salt and pepper. Cool the purée to room temperature before using it on your pizza.
Roast the Cauliflower
Cut the second head of cauliflower into florets and toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper before spreading them out on a sheet tray. Roast the cauliflower at the highest temperature your oven can reach, until just tender. (Don't forget, the cauliflower will have a second chance to roast on top of the pizza.)
Slice the Meyer Lemon
Get yourself a Meyer lemon—that thin-skinned, super sweet, lemon-orange hybrid. Slice it into paper thin rounds.
Start assembling the pizza by spreading the cooled cauliflower purée over the surface of the dough. Be generous, and hit the entire surface with the silky, creamy topping.
Arrange the Florets
Arrange the roasted cauliflower florets on top of the purée.
The Citrus Factor
Drape the paper-thin slices of Meyer lemon over the cauliflower.
Into the Fire
The pie gets pulled out of the 900º-1000º stone, wood-fired, gas-assist pizza oven when the crust is puffy and there's even blistering of the dough.
We suggest you cook your pie at the highest temperature your oven can reach. If you're using a pizza stone or steel, you'll want it to be in the oven during the pre-heat. Cook the pizza until the crust is crisp and bubbly and the lemons are soft and slightly charred.
Sprinkle a handful of breadcrumbs over the pizza after it comes out of the oven.
Chef Jarett Appell makes his own breadcrumbs by cutting the crust off of stale bread and giving the crustless bread a whirl in the food processor. He looks for medium sized crumbs.
Jarrett then tosses the breadcrumbs with olive oil, salt, and pepper and toasts them in the oven at 345º until crisp. Whereas store-bought breadcrumbs are fine, the homemade version give the pizza a fabulous texture and crunch.
Gratuitous Pizza Tattoo Art
Here is Chef Appell's awesome Neapolitan pizzaiolo skull tattoo, a reminder of his time spent learning the art of pizza making in Napoli.