By Cat, Mar 2015 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
Cauliflower is a misunderstood, under-utilized vegetable that I find delicious. Prior to the discovery of America by the Europeans, who then brought native American foods like potatoes and corn back to Europe, cauliflower was the veggie of choice for side dishes that today are made with potato. but who-da-thunk it could also be used as a substitute for grains in a pizza crust?
Originally, pizza crust was made with fermented whole grain (sourdough), but we have strayed from that healthful version to yeast-risen dough made with highly processed white flour. We are now learning that our cultural shift from fermented whole grains to processed white flour is behind the surge of modern diseases like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, celiac and gluten sensitivity.
So for those who are avoiding grains or high-carb foods in general, this recipe is an exciting option.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
This is adapted from Mercola’s recipe, originally by Paula Dean (yes, that Paula Dean) (1). I also include her Margherita-style pizza toppings, but you could certainly use any of your favorite toppings. I prefer to use my Crushed Tomato Sauce (Raw) recipe rather than a commercial jarred or canned sauce.
Don’t use the parmesan that comes in that green shaker container of dried cheese. Splurge on real Parmesan or other hard cheese like Romano or Asiago; it only takes a minute to grate it.
Ingredients & Equipment
- 2 tsp melted butter or coconut oil
- 2 ½ cups organic cauliflower, grated (about ½ a large head)
- 1 large organic pastured egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cups shredded fresh mozzarella cheese, preferably raw
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese
- Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Crushed Tomato Sauce (Raw)
- 1 tomato, fresh and ripe (or 4 – 6 cherry or grape tomatoes), enough to make ¼ cup
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp Unrefined sea salt
- ¼ tsp dried, or ½ tsp fresh oregano, or snipped fresh basil
- ¾ tsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (optional)
- ¾ tsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup crushed tomato sauce (see above), or other homemade tomato sauce
- ¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, preferably raw (fresh)
- 1 cup organic grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Fresh basil leaves, optional
- 10″ round pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet
- medium mixing bowl
- box grater
- food mill (optional; see photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line pan with parchment paper.
- Crust: Shred Mozzarella and grate the Parmesan.
- Grate the cauliflower using a box grater until you have two cups of cauliflower crumbles. Steam until soft and let cool.
- Mix in the egg, one cup mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round prepared pizza pan. Coat lightly with melted butter or coconut oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden.
- Crushed Tomato Sauce
- Peel tomatoes (dip in boiling water for a few seconds; the peel will easily slide off). Or place unpeeled tomatoes in a food mill (Moulinette) to crush them and leave the peels behind.
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and crush with a potato masher or similar tool. Do not use a blender or food processor, as they will break the seeds and give your sauce a bitter flavor.
- Topping: Shred the mozzarella, slice trap tomatoes in half, and slice the garlic thinly.
- Prepare tomato sauce according to recipe (see above,or use your own).
- Spread tomato sauce over the crust; top with ¼ cup mozzarella, grape tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes. Top with basil before serving.