Monday, April 14, 2014

Recipe Review: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I have to admit I've seen this recipe around the internet. When I asked on Facebook for some interesting recipes using cauliflower, this one came up again.  I was hesitant to try it. Was a little worried about how the final product would taste and if it would actually be close to real pizza.  But I decided to give it a try anyway and of course I couldn't stick completely to the recipe I found. I had to add my only little twist.

The original recipe was sent to me by my niece in law and can be found here:

To make Cauliflower Pizza you'll need:

1 cup of cooked cauliflower
1 cup of mozzarella
dried seasonings of your choice-- I used Italian seasonings and dried parsley
1 egg

I used all veggies but if you decide to top your pizza with meat, be sure they are cooked first

Pizza sauce (which I decided not to use, more on that later)
mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese
veggies of your choice. I used red onions, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper

The original recipe says to use frozen cauliflower and then grate it.  What I did was steam a whole head of cauliflower because I wanted to use it for another recipe (which I will post later) and stored it in the fridge.  When I was ready to make the pizza I took out a cup and cut it up very finely with a knife.  I hate to dirty another gadget when I can just use a knife to do that job.
I put the cauliflower in a bowl and added 1 cup of mozzarella and then added the seasonings -the original recipe called for sprinkling the crust with the seasonings but I decided to add them right into the crust. I then added the egg and mixed it well.

I spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet that I sprayed with cooking spray so it didn't stick.  I put it into a 425 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until browned and set.  NOTE: In the future I would use a towel to get out some of the moisture from the cauliflower to see if the crust got a little more firm.  Had to eat the pizza with a knife and fork.  Not complaining it still tasted amazing.

Once the crust was set I added my toppings.  Again this is where I deviated from the original recipe.  Instead of using sauce I took some small tomatoes I had in the fridge, sliced them and then tossed them with salt and olive oil.  I put those on the crust first.  Then I topped the pizza with sliced red onions and the bell peppers and finally with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses.  I baked the pizza another 10 minutes or so until the cheese melted.  For a final touch I added some fresh chopped basil.  I think that fresh herbs are the secret to making anything taste great!

We loved the fact that the veggies were fresh and crunchy, along with the sprinkle of fresh herbs.  It really brightened up the whole pizza.

Final review:
The Process --

The original recipe I saw said that you can use frozen cauliflower.  I'm not sure that I would go that route. Now that I've used fresh cauliflower and saw how much water is in it.  Steaming a whole head of cauliflower to use for other recipes seems a lot simpler. That being said, the process is simple and actually a lot easier than making traditional pizza dough. For those who are gluten free or eat low carb I would think this recipe would be a god send.

The Taste --

I was a little concerned that the crust would have an overwhelming cauliflower taste but it really didn't. With all toppings and cheese the cauliflower was barely noticeable.

Things to remember --

Cauliflower has a lot of water in it, so be sure to either use a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove as much water as possible.  That way your crust will get crispier.  Also if you're using meat as a topping be sure it is cooked first.

Would I make it again? Absolutely!! If I can have guilt free pizza (except for all the cheese) I would make it again and again.  It's simple and relatively easy.  Once you have the method down you can top it just like you would any other pizza crust.

So grab some in season, on sale cauliflower, steam it up and create your own gluten free (almost guilt free) pizza!!