I enjoy most vegetables. Cauliflower is not one of them. I might even go so far as to say, I hate cauliflower. Darren might dislike cauliflower even more than I do. Dousing it in cheese sauce doesn’t even help, and Scarlett is a lost cause when it comes to most vegetables, so cauliflower doesn’t stand a chance. The fact that the gross, mangled ears of boxers and other contact sports athletes are named after this vegetable does not help its case in my book.
So, when our weekly fresh produce box contained a GIANT head of cauliflower, I was feeling a bit panicky. My first instinct was to give it to my mom, but the thing was huge, there was no way she could eat it all. My next thought was to make soup, but then I kind of felt like that was taking the easy way out. I wanted to find something to make cauliflower, if not delicious, at least tolerable.
Okay cauliflower, let’s do this.
And I think we did it. Cauliflower pizza crust, friends. It seriously tasted like a fancy, gourmet, thin crust pizza. Darren was talking about how delicious it was. He knew it wasn’t a “real” crust (because I told him he would be shocked when he found out how I made it), but he thought it was good! Now, when I told him it was made out of cauliflower, he said, “I really wish I didn’t know that,” but he continued to eat it, and reconfirmed it’s deliciousness when he was done.
Here is how I did it.
First, I used a box grater to grate the cauliflower florets. You want the texture to be like rice.
Next, I added a cup of grated mozzarella cheese, a beaten egg, minced garlic, salt, and oregano. I stirred this so everything was uniformly moistened.
Then, I turned this out onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and using the back of a spoon and my hands, flattened and shaped it into a round “crust” that was about 9″ in diameter.
Next, I popped it into a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. It came out all beautiful and golden brown and crunchy looking.
Then, I let it cool for about an hour. I was hoping that it would “harden” up a little bit if I let it cool, and it did.
Once cool, I dressed it like I would dress any pizza. Started with tomato sauce, added shredded mozzarella cheese, salami, tomato slice, hot peppers, and goat cheese. But really, you can put whatever you want onto it.
After dressing the pizza, I popped the cookie sheet back into the oven which was now set to broil for about 5 minutes, just until the cheese started to bubble and everything looked nice and pizza like.
After pulling it from the oven, I let it sit for a few minutes, and then sliced and served. The texture of it was great, seriously, just like a thin crust pizza. You could not taste even a hint of cauliflower.
This one was a home run. The deliciousness of a gourmet pizza, without the carbs, gluten-free even!
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Makes one 9 inch pizza crust
1 c. cooked, riced cauliflower
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
tomato sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings
Remove stems and leaves from 1 head of cauliflower, and chop the florets into chunks. Use a box grater to “rice” the cauliflower. Place the “riced” cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 8 minutes.
One large head of cauliflower will produce between 2 and 3 cups of riced and cooked cauliflower.
To make the pizza crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray (or use parchment paper on a cookie sheet). In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, beaten egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, minced garlic and salt, mix well. Transfer the mixture to your cookie sheet, and pat out into a 9″ round. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool awhile. This helps to make the crust more solid.
To make the pizza:
Add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes). Slice as you would any pizza, and serve.