Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 26, 2021

© Caroline West

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Cauliflower and broccoli pesto pizza

Recipes from a BC chef inspired by the land she loves

This makes a nice change from a typical tomato-based pizza. The dough is easy to make and comes together quickly. Plus, it tastes even better after a day in the fridge! The crust is slathered with a vibrant garlic-lemon broccoli pesto, and topped with feta and sweet roasted cauliflower. The pesto, which also doubles as a great pasta topping, can be made in advance.

If you have a pizza stone, use it; it distributes the heat evenly and makes for a crisp crust.

whole wheat pizza dough (recipe follows)
1 small head cauliflower (about 1½ lb. / 250 g)
2 tbsp. (30 ml) vegetable oil, divided
¼ tsp. (1 ml) kosher salt
broccoli pesto (recipe follows)
1 c. (250 ml) crumbled feta (about 4 oz. / 120 g), divided
2 tbsp. (30 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ lemon, sliced

Prepare the pizza dough.

Preheat a pizza stone or baking sheet in a 375°F (190°C) oven. Divide the pizza dough in half and place each portion on a sheet of parchment dusted with flour. Stretch and shape the dough with your hands or a rolling pin to fashion two pizzas about 9 inches (23 cm) each in diameter. Cover and set aside while you prepare the toppings.

Trim and core the cauliflower; slice the florets to a ¼-inch (6 mm) thickness and break into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a large bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to combine, then spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, or just until the cauliflower starts to turn golden around the edges. (The cauliflower will be baked again with the pizza.) Meanwhile, prepare the pesto. Remove the cauliflower and increase the oven temperature to 450°F (230°C).

Spread each pizza with about ¼ cup (60 ml) pesto, leaving a ½-inch (1-cm) border. Distribute the feta over the pesto, then top with the roasted cauliflower. Brush the pizza border with oil.

Transfer each pizza, along with the parchment, to the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven; bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are crisp. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and serve with lemon slices on the side. Makes two 9-inch (23-cm) pizzas.

Whole wheat pizza dough

This dough comes together very quickly and makes a nice change from a traditional white flour pizza dough. The dough tastes even better after a day in the fridge, so plan to make it the night before you serve it.

If you enjoy pizza, a pizza stone and wooden paddle are good investments; the stone provides a crisp crust and the paddle makes it easy to get your pizza in and out of the oven without any mishaps.

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) quick-rise (instant) yeast
1 c. (250 ml) lukewarm water
1½ c. (375 ml) white flour
½ c. (125 ml) whole wheat flour
1 tsp. (5 ml) sugar
1½ tsp. (7.5 ml) salt
2 tbsp. (30 ml) vegetable oil
2 tbsp. (30 ml) plain yogurt

Dissolve the yeast in the water in a spouted cup and stir to combine. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the oil and yogurt to the yeast and water, mix well, then pour over the dry ingredients and stir together with a fork. When the mixture becomes too unwieldy, use your hands to gather the dough into a ball, swiping the sides of the bowl with the dough to gather any stray bits of flour.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 to 2 minutes until the dough becomes soft and pliable.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover and rest in a warm draft-free area, such as the top of the stove, or in an oven with only the light bulb on, for about 1 hour.

After the dough has rested, knead for about 1 minute, re-shape and return it to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight before using. Makes two 9-inch (23-cm) pizzas.

Broccoli pesto

2 c. (500 ml) broccoli florets (about 1 small crown), broken into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
½ c. (125 ml) flat-leaf parsley
½ c. (125 ml) fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 anchovies, lightly rinsed
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) kosher salt
4 tsp. (20 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 tbsp. (90 ml) vegetable oil

Blanch the broccoli florets in heavily salted boiling water, about 2 teaspoons (10 ml) salt per 4 cups (1 L) water for about 2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of very cold water and drain.

Place the broccoli and remaining pesto ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to a spreadable consistency, leaving some irregular pieces. Alternatively, chop the ingredients finely with a knife. Taste and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if desired.

Pesto keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week. Makes 1 cup (250 ml).

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.


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