Now, I can make a mean crust. Whole wheat, regular, you name it, I have the wheat dough down! Enter cauliflower crust. Don’t roll your eyes thinking this is just some healthy “diet” crust that makes a decent substation for a flour crust. It is indeed a healthy, low-calorie, low-carb crust, however it is delightfully delicious!
I remember the first time I tried making cauliflower crust pizza a few months ago. What a disaster! I actually haven’t made is since, however yesterday I decided it was time to try again. It was one of those days that I really didn’t feel like going to the store, so I rummaged around to see what I could come up with for dinner. I had a pot of homemade sauce on the stove, two blocks of fresh mozzarella and a head of cauliflower in fridge. It was the perfect stage for cauliflower crust pizza round two.
Now I was making dinner for more than just myself, so I decided to make two of my famous whole wheat crust pizzas in case the cauliflower one turned out horrible. But really I made two other pizzas so I could eat more of the cauliflower crust one!
The first pizza pictured is a plain cheese pie, my brother’s favorite, while the second one is a fresh tomato and mozzarella salad topped pie, my dad’s favorite. While they both are tasty and quite beautiful, I had my eyes on my cherry tomato and bacon topped cauliflower crust pie the whole time.
The crust came out crispy and I was able to hold it like a regular pizza to eat. Once it was topped with homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella, and heirloom cherry tomatoes from the garden, I was blown away. While I was topping the pie, my dad suggested crumbling free-range bacon he had smoked last weekend on top. Heaven! For all my vegetarian readers, swap the pork bacon for portobello mushroom bacon!
With all this pizza talk, I’m craving pizza again! If I haven’t convinced you to make this pizza yet, then I don’t know what will. Make the most out of what’s left of summer and invite friends over, open a bottle of wine, and enjoy this cauliflower crust pie in the glorious summer evenings we have been having. Nobody will know they are eating vegetables; good food is good food!
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
yield: one 12″ pizza
1 medium cauliflower head
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup pecorino romano cheese*
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-2 Tbsp coconut flour
fresh ground black pepper
*Optional, you can also use 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast for a dairy-free version
1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a pizza pan or baking sheet with parchment paper and liberally rub olive oil on top.
2. Rinse and pat dry cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower into florets and discard the leaves and stems. Place florets in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is a rice consistency. Place in a microwave safe bowl.
3. Microwave for 4 minutes. Scrape the cauliflower onto a kitchen towel and let cool for a minute or two. Once cool, wring the cauliflower over the sink. A lot of water should come out. You want it as dry as possible so you don’t end up with a soggy crust.
4. Place the cauliflower in a bowl and add the spices, cheese, eggs, and 1 Tbsp coconut flour. Mix well (hands work the best here). The dough should hold together when pressed and not be sticky. If your mixture is very wet, add another tablespoon of coconut flour. It will depend on how much water you got out of your cauliflower in the previous step.
5. Form the dough into a ball and press into a disk on the prepared pan, about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
Cherry Tomato and Bacon Pizza
pizza crust of choice
6 oz fresh mozzarella, diced (you can also use dairy-free mozzarella)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 Tbsp each fresh basil, parsley, oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp chopped free-range bacon, cooked extra crispy OR portobello bacon
Spread the sauce over the crust, leaving 1/2 inch around the edge. Sprinkle the onions, herbs, salt, and pepper. Add the cherry tomatoes and diced cheese. Sprinkle with bacon last, if using. Bake at 500 F for 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble and brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.