Panino di Pizza With Cauliflower and Romesco (Serves 4)

Featuring a tasty romesco and a nifty treatment of pizza dough: When put in a hot oven, untopped, the dough rises into a dome (similar to a pita) that can be sliced and stuffed like a sandwich.


For the cauliflower

1 medium head cauliflower

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the romesco sauce

1/2 cup cubed multigrain bread (from 1 small slice)

1 plum tomato, cored and cut into large chunks

3 cloves garlic (unpeeled)

1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup (about 4 ounces) jarred roasted red peppers, drained

1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, plus more to taste

For the panino

Flour, for the work surface

450g ball store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature (see headnote)

2 cups lightly packed rocket

110g pecorino Romano cheese, shaved or grated


Preheat the oven to 260 degrees. Set a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven.

For the cauliflower: Core the head and break the cauliflower into large florets, then cut those into 1cm slices. Toss them on a rimmed baking sheet with the oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Roast until deeply browned on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Use a spatula to turn them over; roast until browned on the top, 10 minutes. Cover loosely to keep warm.

For the romesco sauce: Toss together the bread, tomato, garlic, almonds, salt and 1 tablespoon of the oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally with tongs, until the mixture browns in spots and the garlic is slightly tender when pressed, 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor. Add the red peppers, paprika, cayenne, if using, vinegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Puree until smooth. Taste, and add salt and vinegar as needed.

For the panino: Increase the oven temperature to 290 degrees, if possible.

Liberally dust a work surface with flour. Use your hands to press and stretch the dough, working from the center, into a 23cm round. Transfer to the pizza stone; bake until it puffs to form a dome, browns all over and sounds hollow when tapped, 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer immediately to a cutting board; let cool briefly, then use a serrated knife to cut the crust in half horizontally, being careful to avoid the escaping steam. Remove the top.

Build the panino by spreading about 3/4 cup of the romesco sauce over the inside of the bottom crust. Layer with the roasted cauliflower slices, overlapping them as needed, the arugula, and the cheese. Smear the remaining romesco sauce on the cheese.

Put the domed top back on. Use the serrated knife to cut the panino into 8 wedges. Serve right away.

Washington Post