A co-worker of mine is currently on a special diet and has been experimenting with several low-carb dishes. One day a few weeks ago, she dropped by my office to tell me about a recipe she’d found – pizza crust made of cauliflower! Yes, it sounded a little strange, but I was definitely intrigued. Since she’s a culinary school graduate and enjoys food as much I do, I trust her judgement and wanted to try it.
She offered to bring a piece to the office the next day for me to sample and even day-old and reheated, it was really good!
My husband is a pizza fanatic, so this new discovery was particularly exciting. Since I try to limit the processed stuff we eat, cutting out simple carbs from our meals when possible, I don’t like to make or order pizza very often. I personally love the sauce, cheese and all the toppings that come on pizzas, but I don’t like the way I feel after eating all the dough that serves as the delivery vehicle, so this twist on the crust has made us both very happy.
With a hefty dose of veggies, I feel good about eating it myself and feeding it to him, which means he can get his pizza fix a lot more often now. We pile it high with a variety of toppings- mushrooms, spinach, red peppers, green peppers, onions, green and black olives, sometimes with meat, and sometimes without.
I’m not going to lie and say it’s just like eating a flour pizza crust because it’s not. But surprisingly, it’s not like eating cauliflower either. I’m not even sure that you’d be able to guess what it was made of if someone hadn’t already told you. The one problem I find is that while it’s not impossible to pick up a piece and eat with your hands, it’s much easier to use a fork. We feel that’s a small price to pay though in order to feel better about what we’re eating.
I’m interested to see what some of you think, so please, if you give it a go, come back and leave a comment!
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Serves 2; Adapted from Your Lighter Side.
1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)
pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings*
To "Rice" the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (some microwaves are more powerful than others, so you may need to reduce this cooking time). There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.
One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To Make the Pizza Crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).
*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.
Note for those that don’ t have a microwave:
You can steam the florets on the stove before ricing them. The texture/consistency won’t be the same (It will be more like a puree) but it still works fine once you mix all the ingredients together! I know because I’ve tried it that way too!