Cauliflower Pizza Crust + A Recipe for Cherry Tomato and Bacon Pizza!


Mamma mia!  This pizza is good. I’m talking drool-worthy.  The kind of pizza that makes you wonder why places like Pizza Hut and Domino’s still exist.

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

Directions:
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

Directions:
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.

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4 Comments

  1. OK, I have a bunch of questions about this. Here goes. Why do you have to pat the cauliflower dry? Do you ring it in cheese cloth? Have you used any type of egg substitute, or does it really need to be egg here? Are you baking the crust before adding the toppings (sounds like it)? That sounds like a fruit pie crust rather than the type of wheat flour crusts I am used to.
    Why haven't you shared this famous wheat crust recipe??? And, the white runny stuff on top is this pecorino cheese? It looks like sour cream, which would probably be really yummy. How do you make mushroom bacon?

    Your pizzas all look scrumptious.

  2. Ask away my dear! I'll answer anything:)
    1. You pat the cauliflower dry after rinsing it because you want dry cauliflower going into the microwave. Microwaving the cauliflower is cooking it and therefore releasing the water, so any water you can get rid of before this step helps.
    2. I ring it in a regular kitchen cloth, however a cheese cloth would work fine. Just make sure you have it doubled over otherwise the cauliflower might go through the holes when you squeeze it!
    3. You do need the eggs. I have tried this with flax-eggs, but because cauliflower is a vegetable and has no binding properties like gluten, the eggs are the only thing that hold it together when baking. My flax-egg crust crumbled when I cut it, although it was still delicious:) You could use only egg whites if you wanted, that would be fine.
    4. You do bake the crust before adding the toppings. Because it is not a wheat crust, it's necessary to bake the crust to bind and crisp it.
    5. I will be sharing my wheat crust! You are not the first to ask me for the recipe. It's one of those recipes that I make so often that it's basically second nature to me, and I forget about it! If I don't have it up by the end of next week, yell at me:)
    6. The white running stuff on top is just melted fresh mozzarella. It cooks very differently than the packaged, part-skim cheese. There is a time and a place for both, sometimes I only use one or the other, and sometimes I combine them. Sour cream does sound like a wonderful addition.
    7. My recipe for mushroom bacon:

    6 portobello mushroom sliders, washed and sliced 1/2 thick
    1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
    1 Tbsp EVOO
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1/4 tsp dried garlic
    2 tsps dried oregano
    3/4 tsp salt

    Directions
    1. (Portobello bacon ingredients) Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Toss mushrooms in the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a pan with parchment paper and spread the mushrooms over the pan. Cook in the preheated oven for about an hour, or until the mushrooms have shrunk and are dry to the touch.

    check out my post on Beet Pasta with Spicy Broccoli Rabe and Portobello Bacon (under dinner in the recipe index) for a delicious pasta dish.

    Hope this helps, let me know if I missed anything!

  3. Thanks so much for answering all the questions. I don't make it back as often as I would like, but I don't think I saw your wheat crust posted yet, so YELL!! Anyways it is back to baking season for me so I would appreciate having it, but I can tell that you are one busy woman what with all the posts you manage to get up : )

    Sidenote: it is hard to remember which comment I left questions in so I can go back to find them. It would be nice if I somehow got a notification when my comments were answered : ) But this way I end up revisiting the recipes I know I wanted to try, refueling my interest.

  4. Oh no, you're right! I'm so sorry, I will get on that. Seriously! Keeping me in line, I love it 🙂

    Humm…I don't know offhand how to notify you when your comments are answered. I'll ponder that for a bit and see what I can come up with!

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