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Vegan Planet: Manchurian Cauliflower Pizza

Friday, January 6, 2012


Manchurian Cauliflower Pizza

Yes, you read it right.  What can I say? It was bound to happen.  My love of pizza, spicy food, and cauliflower converged one night recently. The Manchurian Cauliflower Pizza you see in the photo was the result of their union.

At the time, I also had a hankering for cabbage, so I spread a layer of sautéed shredded cabbage and onions on top of the pizza dough before adding the cauliflower.  In retrospect, the cabbage was tasty but a bit distracting, so next time (yes, there will be a next time!) I think I’ll instead go with a layer of pureed seasoned chickpeas between the crust and cauli.

If you want to try this unusual pizza, just start by making your favorite pizza dough (I like the one in Vegan on the Cheap) or use a storebought pizza dough like the one from Trader Joes.

Cut the cauliflower into thin slices (like you’re cutting a loaf of bread) and arrange the slices on a baking sheet that has been oiled or coated with nonstick cooking spray or lined with parchment paper.  Roast the cauliflower at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes, then turn and roast on the other side until just soft, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Keep the oven turned on.

While the cauliflower is roasting, make this “shortcut” Manchurian sauce.  Combine in bowl: about 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, depending on how much heat you like.  You can also add some minced scallions and cilantro, if you like, and a couple tablespoons of water to thin it out a bit.  Set aside. 

Then, puree 1 can of chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups of home-cooked chickpeas) in a blender or food processor with a pinch of garlic powder, ground coriander, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a little lemon juice if desired and a tablespoon or two of water to make it more spreadable.  Spread the chickpea mixture onto the pizza dough.

Toss the roasted cauliflower with the Manchurian sauce and arrange the coated cauliflower on top of the pizza.  Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven until the crust is nicely browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes or so.

If the idea of Manchurian Cauliflower Pizza sounds like crazy-talk, I understand.  It certainly isn’t for everyone.  But you can still enjoy the spicy cauliflower, either served on its own or over cooked brown rice or quinoa.

In the meantime, I hope the price of cauliflower comes down soon -- I have lots more ideas I want to try!


Oh my goodness! How creative! I craved Manchurian Cauliflower so much one day in my first trimester, that I wouldn't eat anything else until my craving was satisfied.

I think I'll try this out soon! Thanks for the idea.
I think our cauliflower is $3.99 each! Anyways, this pizza sounds delicious, and very creative. I like the sound of it!
You are BRILLIANT, Robin! Cauliflower, chickpeas, PIZZA...too many good things in one dish, head might explode...! :)
so coincidental that you post a recipe for pizza--last night i made a pizza using your pizza dough recipe of the 2 3/4 cup flour, 2 1/4 tsp yeast, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup water--and it worked for us so well!...i am always looking for ways to get more cauliflower into our diet--thnxs in advance for our next week pizza night meal!
I'm so happy to hear from all of you who like this idea. It's good to know there are others who like to step outside the pizza box!
I think this Manchurian Cauliflower Pizza is a Candidate for one of the best pizzas ever. pun intended ;)
This pizza sounds so good. It has inspired me to use my cauliflower in my fridge.
As a huge manchurian anything and pizza fan - this looks great!
I didnt have any coriander... The wife didnt pick any up from the store. What an amazing pizza. I used the chick peas without the coriander. It tasted like BBQ chicken pizza. What an amazing taste we can create!!!
Gigi, I totally agree -- this pizza is a GREAT Manchurian (cauliflower) Candidate! ;)

El Jefe, I'm sure it was wonderful without the ground coriander. There's so much flavor going on without it. Glad you enjoyed it.

If anyone else tried it, I'd love to hear about it!
i wish i'd read this post an hour ago! i was making pizza and saw the organic cauliflower in the refrigerator and thought it might be neat to use it on pizza, but couldn't decide how to sauce or flavor it.

i'll be ready next time, though!
Yes, next time, Gerry!
I just made this pizza tonight, and it was so so good. It was hard to stop eating after three slices. I think I have found a new favorite pizza. Thanks Robin!
Hey glad you liked it! I know what you mean about how you can keep eating it -- it's positively addictive!
this recipe looks great! I definitely want to try this one!
Healthy Hippie, I hope you do~ if you try it, let me know what you think!
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