You might wonder why I’ve arrived so late to the cauliflower pizza crust party. In truth, I did not believe a crust made from one humble vegetable and one large egg could amount to something I’d actually want to eat. But life is full of surprises, my friends. I made the cruciferous subject last night, and it totally won me over. Here’s the step-by-step recipe:
Take a head of cauliflower…
And remove the green leaves.
Then cut out the hard core…
And break off the florets.
Working in small batches, pulse the florets in a food processor. When properly processed, the florets will resemble grains of rice.
Next, put the “rice” in a medium sauce pan.
Add a big pinch of salt…And 1/2 cup of water.
While stirring occasionally, heat the works over a medium flame for about 7 minutes. The goal is to cook the cauliflower long enough to soften it.
Remove the pan from the heat, and let the mixture sit until it’s cool enough to handle — about 30 minutes. (For faster cooling, spread out the mixture on a baking sheet.)
Now unfold the clean-but-obscene kitchen towel that was gifted to you by your friends Sarah and Jane.
A handful at a time, place the cooked cauliflower in the center of the towel, and then twist and squeeze the towel to expel ALL of the water from the vegetable. This expelling step requires tremendous physical strength. If you are the dainty sort, please seek cauliflower-squeezing help from your tan and buff neighbor.
Your squeezed-out cauliflower will look like mashed potatoes. Minus the butter and cream.
Transfer the mash to a medium bowl, and add each of the following:
A handful of shredded Parmesan cheese…
One large egg…
And a nice hit of cayenne pepper.
By spoon or by hand, thoroughly mix the ingredients to produce a ball of cauliflower “dough.”
Then put the ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Parchment paper is important here, as nothing will stick to it.
With a song in your heart, flatten the ball into a disk.
Then cover the disk with a large piece of plastic wrap…
And press the dough into a 10-inch-diameter circle.
Then remove the plastic wrap, and and shore up the edge of the dough with the palm of your hand.
Now pop the dough onto the center rack of a preheated 400°F oven, and bake it according to your personal preference: 40 minutes for an attractive, spotty-brown crust…
Or 50-60 minutes for a totally brown crust. True, this particular crust doesn’t photograph very well. But it does have a pleasantly crisp edge, a deep, caramelized flavor, and a texture that holds together perfectly well. It’s the cauliflower crust that I prefer to eat.
Let the crust cool for a few minutes, and then flip it over…
So that its dry underside is now on top.
Shall we turn our crust into a pizza?
Boost the oven temperature to 450°F.
Then spread the crust with your favorite pizza sauce, and add whatever toppings you fancy.
You could, for instance, add a handful of Parmesan cheese…
Some uncured, nitrate-free pepperoni…
And some tiny balls of very fresh mozzarella.
Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese melts — 10-12 minutes.
Place the pizza on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, and then, if you wish, scatter some fresh, torn basil leaves over the pie.
Now cut your creation into four wedges…
And enjoy each wedge without the slightest degree of guilt. For this pizza is not only gluten-free — it’s nearly carb-free, too!
Here’s the printable: