Makes approx. 1 – 12″ Pizza Crust
Apparently, this is the year of the “cauliflower”. Everywhere you look there is some new recipe or meal idea made with this once innocuous vegetable. While I’ve always been a fan, I know that there are many people who are completely puzzled by this large and white broccoli relative, and thus, steer away from it entirely – my husband included!
Now, throw in all the latest hype of cauliflower pizza crusts and fried cauliflower rice and even those who like this mild-tasting cruciferous flower have become completely intimated! But don’t worry! Once you see how easy it is to make, you will be whipping up these dishes in no time, and maybe even make a cauliflower lover out of your husband after all ;).
Let’s start with a fan-favorite: because who doesn’t like a good pizza crust! Especially when it’s carb-free and gives your kids an extra helping of veggies that they don’t even know they are eating!
[Ok, I will admit that this doesn’t taste exactly like real pizza dough. However, if you make sure to cook it long enough to give it a nice crunchy texture, you won’t find anyone questioning what you’ve made and will most likely have them begging for more!]
- 1 Medium-sized Head of Cauliflower – should yield close to 3 cups once processed (depending on the initial size, of course)
- 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Basil (crush it even more between your fingers)
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano (crust it even more between you fingers)
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 2 Tbs. Almond Meal or Coconut Flour
- 2 Tbs. Nutritional Yeast (Use more or less depending on your preference; will give it a slight cheesy taste)
- Optional: a few shakes of crushed red pepper
- 1 Tb. Olive Oil
- 1 Egg (or 1 “flax” egg)
- Place a pizza stone (or baking sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone) in the oven, and preheat it to 400 degrees.
- On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking spray or brush the parchment with olive oil. I used a non-stick Baking Mat instead.
- Place a small saucepan on the stove with about 1 inch of water, and bring to a boil.
- In the meantime, wash and thoroughly dry your head of cauliflower. I used a larger one so I could make a handful of mini crusts for my Stacked Cauliflower and Eggplant Lasagna (recipe coming soon!), but a medium one will do just fine. You can also freeze any extra (see the Time Saving Tip below).
- Cut off the florets, and save the stem for another purpose (it’s great roasted).
- Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds or until you get a powdery, snow-like cauliflower. You should end up with about 3 cups of cauliflower “snow”.
- Gently pour the “snow” into the boiling water (being careful not to splash yourself), and stir. Cover the pot and boil for 4 minutes.
- When the cauliflower is cooked, drain it into a fine mesh sieve (aka, strainer) and set aside to cool.
- Once you are able to handle it (without burning yourself), press out as much water as you can, using your hand or a spatula. You can also put it into a tea towel and wring it out too, although to me, this is an unnecessary step and causes more cleanup later. Just be sure to squeeze out as much water as possible. THIS STEP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT and will ensure you get a chewy pizza-like crust instead of a rubbery, crumbly mess.
- Next, dump the cauliflower into a bowl and add all your spices, almond meal, nutritional yeast, and olive oil.
- Mix to incorporate and then add your egg. Mix again. I prefer to use my hands for this, although a large spoon will work too. It won’t be like any pizza dough you’ve ever worked with, but don’t worry, it’s supposed to look like this!
- Once thoroughly mixed, use your hands to form the dough into a crust on your oiled Baking Mat or parchment paper. Make sure the crust (or crusts) are tightly formed together. You don’t want them too thick or too thin; I find a 1/3 inch works great.
- Using a cutting board slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. If using a Baking Mat, you can set this right in there.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crust starts to turn golden brown and the edges crisp up. Remove from oven.
- Now feel free to add your toppings and cook for another 5 minutes or so. I suggest using cooked toppings and just warming them up, as opposed to having to cook them [on the pizza] and risk burning the crust. (When I made my Stacked Cauliflower and Eggplant Lasagna, I just added the veggies and was ready to eat it as is!)
- Once done cooking, allow to cool for 2 minutes before cutting with a pizza cutter.
Time-Saving Tip: If you’ve made extra crust and want to have a quick and easy dinner later, simply wrap up the whole pizza in foil (after the crust is baked and toppings are added), and FREEZE for a quick “frozen pizza” any time the craving strikes! When ready to eat, thaw and bake at 400F, as directed above, and you are ready to eat!