OMG, cauliflower is beginning to really amaze me! It seems like with the right combination of ingredients you can do anything with this stuff. Rice, couscous, mashed potatoes and now pizza crust!
My friend Karen had told me a few months back about making cauliflower pizza crust, an idea that I took note of and then promptly stuffed into the ‘to do someday’ part of my brain (I wonder what part of my brain that actually is?).
Well tonight was it. I had an enormous head of cauliflower that has been lingering in the fridge, and some time to kill, and some yummy seafood and pepper leftovers. On my own, I was tempted to just go for the wine and forget dinner altogether but chose instead to get off my butt and give this pizza crust thing a go.
A few different recipes were consulted to get the feel for it and I settled on one that used an entire egg, rather than just egg whites. I hate it when recipes only use half of something…so a whole egg was my deciding factor for my first go at this recipe. I can be practical like that.
The seafood component was some leftover shrimp and squid that I made up the other night. (1 clove minced garlic, 1/4 cup cilantro, a generous sprinkle of cumin, salt -sautéed in a frying pan with a little ghee – juice of one lime to finish) The peppers were leftover from the beef fajitas that I made earlier in the week – or late last week maybe?
Anyway, all of that stuff was sitting in the fridge, it was the crust that needed my attention.
Cauliflower was ‘riced’ in the food processor (basically florets are cut up roughly and then they are pulsed about a dozen times till the size of rice grains) then measured out and popped into the microwave for about 4 minutes until cooked. I don’t often use my microwave, but this 4 minute thing seemed way preferable to another recipe I found that suggested I could roast in in the oven for 25 minutes. Yeah, not tonight.
The cooked cauliflower is spread out onto a clean tea towel to cool for a few minutes and then had the beejeezers squeezed out of it to release the moisture. I was a bit sceptical about this part since the cauliflower doesn’t appear to have that much moisture in it. I was wrong. Wow, was I wrong. I probably squeezed 2/3 or 3/4 of a cup out of 3 cups of cauliflower!
Once mixed with some seasoning and a bit of cheese (God I just can’t seem to get rid of the cheese!), it is shaped into a pizza pie and baked in a hot oven till browned. The toppings are placed on it and it is back into the oven for a few minutes until the toppings are hot and melty.
Voila! Surprisingly pizza like.
Let’s not kid ourselves here, this crust is not chewy and bread-like. But, it tastes pretty great and if you are trying to cut carbs you know how hard that actually is.
My toppings were a bit heavy so I ate mine with a knife and fork. I’m pretty sure if you made a simple pepperoni and cheese pizza or one with thinly sliced ham and small pineapple or something similar you’d be able to pick it up just like regular pizza. I could pick mine up but it was a bit precarious since my shrimp and squid pieces were pretty heavy even after cutting them in half. I’m good with a knife and fork.
- 3 cups 'riced' cauliflower
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mozzarella or other pizza cheese blend
- Place a baking sheet into your oven, turn to 450°
- Rice a small head, or 1/2 large head, of cauliflower by pulsing about 15 times in a food processor until the size of grains of rice
- Microwave the rice on high until tender (timing depends on your microwave)
- Allow cauliflower to cool a bit and then dump into a thin tea towel. Carefully (you don't want to burn your hands!) squeeze out as much moisture as you can over the sink or a bowl.
- Add herbs, salt, garlic powder, and cheeses to cauliflower and mix, allowing mixture to cool a bit more
- Add egg and mix to incorporate well
- Dump out onto a piece of parchment paper and press firmly into a circle of about 8-10" in diameter
- Carefully slide the parchment paper and crust onto the hot baking sheet and place into the oven
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until lightly browned
- Top with your favourite pizza toppings and extra cheese
- Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until toppings are done and cheese is melted
- For 'pick up the slice' pizza, keep your toppings on the light side