Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower pizza crust. That isn't a typo. If you've been looking at low carb and gluten free websites or Pinterest lately, chances are you've at least heard about making a pizza crust using cauliflower. I thought I'd give it a go.

Every recipe I viewed called for "riced" cauliflower, with directions to grate the cauliflower using a cheese grater and then microwave it. Sound easy enough - except that I don't own a microwave. Gasp.

I'm not against microwaves. The ancient monster we were using finally died last month and we haven't gotten around to replacing it. Dare I say I'm a bit of a procrastinator? I have to admit, I don't miss owning a microwave. 

So, what to do with the cauliflower?  I cut it into florets and cooked it on the stove top as you normally would, but for a tad less time. I was worried about over-cooking the cauliflower and making it mushy.   

Then, I thought I'd be a smarty pants and rice my cauliflower with my handy dandy ricer, since the recipes calls for riced cauliflower. Ha!  

I assume most recipes recommend grating the cauliflower since I am the only person I know that actually owns a ricer. That's one below, in case you've never seen one of these contraptions. It makes great mashed potatoes and it is my secret weapon for hash browns. 

Alas, my cauliflower was too firm to squeeze through the tiny holes of the ricer. So much for Ms. Smarty Pants! However, I did put the cauliflower in the ricer and squeeze out as much liquid as I could. 

Whether you own a ricer or not, squeezing the moisture out of the cauliflower is a crucial step. 

The cauliflower was pretty crumbly, so I used my hands and a fork to break it up into little pieces. If you own a microwave, take the easy way out and grate it with a cheese grater then pop it in the microwave (don't add water) and cook it for 7 to 8 minutes. I still recommend squeezing out as much moisture as you can after cooking it in the microwave. 

Combine the cauliflower, cheese, egg, and spices. I mixed with my hands until well combined. 

I used mozzarella, but other cheeses will work, too. Cheddar or pepper jack, anyone? 

Spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten it with you hands until it's no more than 1/4 inch thick.  Bake in an oven that is preheated to 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.  

After 15 minutes, remove your cookie sheet from the oven and place your toppings on the cauliflower crust. Return it to the oven and broil for 5 to 10 minutes. You'll know it's done when your cheese is melted. 

It's best to slice your toppings as thin as possible since you will only be broiling it. 

I chose one of my favorites - veggie pizza!  Green bell peppers, black olives, onion, tomato, and fresh basil. Red sauce, mozzarella, and a little extra parmesan cheese completed my masterpiece. 

Ta da!!

The verdict? Delicious! It didn't taste like cauliflower at all. I wasn't able to pick it up and eat it with my hands like a regular pizza, but it was so yummy I didn't care. I scarfed this baby down with a fork. The hubby also gave it two thumbs up. 

To make two personal pizzas:

cauliflower (shredded & cooked) - 2 cups
mozzarella (or cheese of your choice) - 1 cup
egg - 1 large

spice mixture (play around with this to suit your tastes):
oregano - 1 tablespoon
parmesan - 1 tablesoon
basil (dried) - 1 teaspoon
onion powder - 1/2 teaspoon
sea salt - a dash
garlic (minced) - 1 tablespoon

toppings (try anything you'd put on a traditional pizza):
tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese 
parmesan cheese
green pepper
fresh basil

Combine the the cauliflower, cheese, egg and spices. Spread and pat down onto a cookie sheet and bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add toppings. Broil for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. 

No comments:

Post a Comment