cauliflower crust pizza

Now that we are at day 12 of our 30-day challenge, what is the one food that you miss the most?  I really can’t say that I feel deprived since there are so many delicious foods allowed.  But if I’m being totally honest here …I most certainly miss pizza.  

Let’s see if we can take care of that.  What if I told you that this cauliflower crust is so good that it can help you with that pizza fix you may need by now?  Really.  It’s that good.

Let’s talk cauliflower.  This recipe calls for grated cauliflower.  You can grate your own by holding the head of cauliflower (the floret side) against a box grater on the side with the larger openings.  You’ll need 2 cups for 1 – 10″ pizza crust.  Or you can take advantage of this new ‘riced cauliflower’ trend and purchase the prepped cauliflower.  Just be aware that sometimes the prepped version may contain rather large chunks.  For your crust, the smaller the pieces the better.  So I just popped the riced cauliflower that I purchased in my food processor and voila!  Look at the difference a few seconds can make.

Now we need to “dry out” the cauliflower.  Heat it in a dry skillet over low to medium heat.  You’re not trying to cook the cauliflower or brown it …just getting rid of the excess moisture.  Stir frequently for about 10 minutes.  As you push the cauliflower around in the pan, you’ll notice moisture evaporating on the surface.  When the pan appears to be dry, you’re good to go.  Set aside to cool.

The egg and grated parmesan are mixed well, then the cooled cauliflower is blended in.  This is your chance to add extra flavor to your crust.  Salt is not recommended since the parmesan is salty enough.  But you could add some garlic powder, dried oregano and/or parsley.  Take your crust over the top with your favorite herbs and spices.

Once combined, transfer the mixture to a baking tray that’s been lined with parchment paper.  Don’t skip that step.  The paper helps to keep the crust together during transfer.  With your hands or the back of a large spoon, carefully spread the ‘dough’ out into a 10″ circle (or whatever shape you prefer) making sure the outer edges are slightly thicker to prevent over-browning during baking.  For a helpful tutorial, check out Chef Buck’s video on YouTube.  Not only is it helpful …it is quite entertaining.

The crust is partially baked, then returned to the oven to finish off with your choice of toppings.

Be careful not to overload your pizza crust.  Keep in mind that it is fragile compared to traditional crust.  For this presentation, I started off with a layer of marinara sprinkled with a handful of grated mozzarella.  I then layered some baby spinach, sauteed portabella slices, baby heirloom tomato slices and some more mozzarella.

Enjoy this fresh from the oven.  Keep in mind that this crust will not be very crispy but it will be delicious.  And it will not fall apart as you pick it up.  There you go …you have your pizza fix.

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cauliflower crust pizza

Adapted from Chef Buck

The best cauliflower pizza crust that won't fall apart.

Servings 1 10" pizza

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated cauliflower (about 1/2 head)
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce, or sauce of your choice
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese, or cheese of your choice
  • additional toppings, if desired (e.g. sliced mushrooms, tomatoes, baby spinach)

Instructions

  1. Grate fresh cauliflower florets into granules resembling “pop rocks.”

  2. Heat the grated cauliflower in a skillet – don’t add oil or water – use low to medium heat, not too hot.  Stir until the cauliflower has dried out somewhat, it won’t dry completely, but the dryer the better.  Heat at least 10 minutes, just enough to evaporate the moisture, not enough to color or cook down.

  3. Remove skillet from burner and set aside to allow cauliflower to slightly cool.
  4. In a bowl, beat 1 egg.  Add grated Parmesan cheese to the egg.  You can substitute, asiago or romano cheeses, just be sure you use a hard cheese for best results.  Add the cauliflower to the bowl and mix well with the egg and cheese.  Mix in additional spices and/or herbs, if desired, and form into a loose ball.

  5. Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Spread parchment paper onto a baking sheet.  DEFINITELY USE PARCHMENT PAPER, otherwise, your crust may tear when you try to pick it up.
  6. Place the balled cauliflower and cheese onto the parchment paper and spread out into a pizza shape about a ¼ inch thick. The crust will be about 10″ across.  Do not make the edges of the crust too thin; keep the size of the crust uniform for even cooking.  The cauliflower will darken quite rapidly around the edges if too thin.

  7. Place crust in the preheated oven and cook approximately 15-20 minutes until the crust has colored and firmed up.  

  8. Remove cauliflower pizza crust from the oven and top with your favorite pizza sauce.  Use a marinara sauce, pesto, white sauce, or whatever.  Top with your favorite pizza toppings.

  9. Return pizza to the oven and continue to cook at 400° F for about 10 minutes until the toppings are done, watch the edges of the cauliflower crust; the edges will darken too much if overcooked.
  10. Remove the pizza from the oven and set on a cooling rack.  Cut into slices and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

A cauliflower pizza crust will not rise since there is no yeast involved, and since the crust is entirely cauliflower, cheese, and egg, it will not achieve the same crispness as a thin dough pizza. But the pizza will stay together just fine and will taste very much like a pizza.

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