CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA

, ,

Over the years I have tried many versions of cauliflower crust pizza. After many soggy crusts that had to be eaten with a fork and knife, I have come up with a recipe that results in a crispy bread-like crust. The cauliflower crust needs to bake first without toppings for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown, then removed from oven, topped with your favorite toppings, then cooked again for a few minutes.

When making this recipe, I like to use time saving techniques that do not sacrifice the taste or quality of the pizza.

The first time saver is to use a bag of  ‘riced cauliflower’ instead of a whole cauliflower. You can find bags of riced cauliflower at most markets. To prepare, tear a small opening in the top of bag and cook on high in microwave for 4 minutes. This will result in the cauliflower being very wet and soft. It will need to be drained and the excess liquid squeezed out before adding ingredients to make the crust. The cauliflower in the bag will be very hot.  If you don’t have a few minutes to wait for the cauliflower to cool before squeezing out the liquid, carefully wrap the bag in a dish towel, leaving the vented side unwrapped and squeeze out the liquid.  The more liquid drained; the drier the cauliflower; the crispier the crust.

If you prefer to not use a microwave, boil the riced cauliflower in an inch of water in a covered sauce pan until it is soft to touch. It should only take a few minutes to soften. Once softened, drain the cauliflower through a fine mesh strainer, pressing out the excess liquid with the back of a serving spoon, then turn the cauliflower into a dish towel and squeeze out any remaining excess liquid. This will be a bit messier than squeezing liquid out of a bag as some of the cauliflower will stick to the towel,  but the result will be the same.

Now it is time to prepare the crust. It is so simple and fast. Combine an egg and a 1/2 cup of cheese with the cauliflower. Use either goat or shredded mozzarella and then add some grated parmesan and some garlic powder and salt.  I also add a sprinkling of herbs de Provençe. If you don’t have this on hand, you can use dried herbs such as thyme and basil. This makes a flavorful crust that holds up when baked.

Once combined, flatten the crust onto a pan lined with parchment paper. For a crispy, pizza like crust, place the parchment on a pizza tin that has air holes. I aim for about a quarter inch thick crust. The thinner the crust, the crispier it will be.  If you do not have a pizza pan with holes, a baking sheet will work just fine.

Spray the unbaked crust with cooking spray or brush with oil before baking for a nice golden crispy crust.  Bake at 425º F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and add your toppings and put back in oven for a few minutes to heat the toppings.

I like to use whatever I have on hand to top the pizza. It can be as simple as  shredded cheese and sliced tomatoes or a traditional pizza topped with marinara and mozzarella and parmesan. You can also used pieces of cooked chicken. To save time, buy a few chicken breasts that are either grilled or roasted and cut up for a topping. Or try adding different cooked vegetables. Maybe use leftovers from the nigh before. Your options are endless. My favorite topping is sautéed fennel, pesto and mozzarella cheese.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza Recipe

FOR THE CAULIFLOWER CRUST

1 bag of riced cauliflower

1 large egg

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese or soft goat cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan

½ teaspoon dried basil or herbs de Provençe

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ tsp coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Oil Spray or oil to brush on crust.

Pizza pan with air vents or a baking sheet; lined with parchment paper.

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425º F.

  • Tear a small opening in the bag and heat on high for 4 minutes in the microwave. Wrap bag in a thick dish towel and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Careful the cauliflower will be hot. Pour the cauliflower into a medium sized bowl and using a dry towel, squeeze out additional liquid.
  • Alternatively, cook on stovetop by filling pot with an inch of water, placing cauliflower in a pot. Heat to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Let cauliflower cool slightly until it is no longer hot to touch. Using a clean dishtowel or cheesecloth, drain cauliflower completely, removing as much water as possible by squeezing out excess water.
  • In a small separate bowl, beat egg and set aside.
  • Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl. Stir in egg, cheese and seasonings; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Spread cauliflower mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Keeping it thick, about 1/4 inch. Spray lightly or brush with oil or  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
  • Top with sauce and cheese. Return to oven and bake until the cheese has melted, usually no longer than 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Let cool for several minutes before slicing.

 

 

print
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *