Friday, March 27, 2015

The BEST Cauliflower Crust Pizza

If you haven't had a cauliflower crust pizza you're probably wondering how this one turns out.  I first made them a few years ago when I was on a big health food kick.  I still eat pretty healthy but I'm not on the crazy strict diet I had been on.  This is one of the things that I have held on to and still love to make.  It tastes so good that I'll bet you won't even think twice about the crust being made out of vegetables as you devour it.  And what about the kids, you're wondering.  Can I pass it off as "real" pizza with them?  You bet!  They LOVE it!  Even my picky eaters take it down and ask for more.  Who doesn't want another way to slip some more veggies in with dinner?  My kids are always surprised when I tell them that it's the cauliflower crust.  Use any kind of sauce, cheese and toppings that you'd like.  Make it your pizza!  On the pizza pictured, I used marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil and a dash of garlic salt.  If you're in a big rush, you can just shred the cauliflower up and skip the microwave and "wringing" steps.  It will be a little more crumbly and not as "pizza crust" like.  I've made it this way several times and it still tastes great though.  If you have a few more minutes to follow the recipe as directed, it doesn't take that much longer and turns out even better.  This recipe makes one 10-12 inch pizza.  Since it's lighter than a regular pizza crust, one pizza serves 1-2 adults (depending on how hungry you are).  I like to split it in half and make two smaller pizzas and put them in the freezer to have on hand for a quick lunch or snack.  The specific directions are at the end under "As a Freezer Meal".  Now go enjoy some pizza!

1 medium sized head of cauliflower – should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
dash crushed red pepper, optional
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg
sauce, cheese and pizza toppings, as desired

Place a pizza stone in the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Wash and thoroughly dry head of cauliflower. To shred the cauliflower, you can grate with a cheese grater at this point, don't grate much of the stem though, just the florets.  Or, if you prefer, you can shred in a food processor or blender.  To do this, cut off the florets, and place in food processor or blender.  Blend until finely shredded.  You should end up with 2 to 3 cups cauliflower “snow”. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool before the next step.  It will kind of look like mashed potatoes.

Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and wring water of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess.

Dump cauliflower into a bowl. It will look more crumbly now.

Add cheeses, salt, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder and a dash of red pepper (if you want).  Gently stir together.  Add egg and mix until well combined.  Once mixed,  dump onto a piece of parchment paper. Use your hands to form it into a pizza crust.  Pat it down thoroughly, you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don’t make it too thick or thin.  It should be 10-12 inches in diameter.

Carefully remove hot pizza stone from oven and slide parchment paper with crust onto it.  Bake at 450 for 8 – 11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.

Add whatever sauce, cheese, and toppings you want. Put topped pizza back in the oven and cook at continue to cook at 450 for another 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly, and slightly golden.  Cool for a couple of minutes.  Cut and serve.

As a Freezer Meal:
Follow the recipe as directed, through the step of baking the crust for the first time.  I like to make the crusts into a smaller, personal sized, so they fit in the freezer better.  As is, this recipe makes two personal sized pizzas.  If I'm stocking my freezer, I make several batches.  Once you remove the crust from the oven, let it cool completely.  Put a piece of parchment paper under the crust and a layer of parchment paper between each crust.  Place stack of cooked crusts in a gallon sized freezer ziploc bag.  Seal and store in freezer.  When ready to use, remove one crust and top with sauce, cheese and toppings.  Cook in toaster oven or conventional oven at 450 for 8-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden.

Source:  Food All Recipes For Food


Jamie Young said...

I'm sold. I would have never been brave enough to try this, but I totally trust your recommendation! And those pictures are making my stomach growl!

Janessa said...

Yay! I was quite skeptical when I first heard about it too but, as you can see, I'm a big fan now! You'll definitely have to let me know how you like it!

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