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  • Cauliflower Pizza Crust. Can It Be Done?
  • Abigail Snyder
Cauliflower Pizza Crust. Can It Be Done?
This week, we wanted to explore some fun alternatives to American staples. Since our relationship with gluten has always been love-hate (for some more than others), what better food to feature than one chock-full of that delicious devil: pizza.

We found a recipe on Pinterest- what a shocker, we know! We changed out the toppings, and for the most part it's very simple; but were we to go back in time we'd definitely do some things differently, as you'll see.

Here's how we did it:

CRUST
1 LARGE head cauliflower (crumbled using a cheese grater)
1 large egg
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon herbes d'Provence
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

TOPPINGS
1/2 cup tomato-basil marinara sauce (or pizza sauce)
1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
6 oz. ground sausage (cooked)
3 baby bell peppers (chopped)
15 grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
1/4 of a medium white onion (pre-cooked and diced)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

- Using a standard cheese grater, grate the head of cauliflower into a large bowl. To make things easier, cut away the stalk and the leaves and then slice the remaining portion in half before grating.

- Place the bowl of crumbled/shredded cauliflower in the microwave for 6-8 minutes. Be sure to place something over the top of the bowl to catch the water that will evaporate out, otherwise it will leave your microwave dripping.

- After removing the cauliflower from your hopefully un-soaked microwave, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool off. Stir occasionally to release the steam.

- Add the egg, cheddar cheese, herbes d'Provence, garlic and salt to the cauliflower and mix together well.

- Next, place mixture on a non-stick cookie sheet (we put parchment paper underneath for good measure). Spread gently with a fork by systematically pressing the mixture out from the center until the crust reaches 9-12 inches in diameter.


- Place the crust WITHOUT toppings in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until it turns golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cover in toppings!



- Once toppings are added, place pizza in the broiler for approx 5 minutes to melt the cheeses and heat the goodies. Let cool and enjoy!

Like we mentioned at the beginning, were we to undertake this task again, there are some things we would change:

1. Allow the crust to bake longer so that it's on the crispier side. When we took ours out, it was more like a browned pancake and was pretty floppy. Were it to be a crispier crust, it would have held up better against the toppings and more of the water would have cooked out of the cauliflower.

2. As with many things in life, less is more. We were operating under the assumption that a cauliflower pizza crust would behave more like, well, a pizza crust. Being under that impression, we piled on the toppings. The cheese and the liquid from the cooked onions were too much for our creation... it turned into more of a vegetable torte. Which isn't a bad thing, it's just not very pizza-y. Lighter topping options like those used in margherita or hawaiian pizzas would have probably been a better option.

While making the crust crispier and using fewer toppings would have made this dish more like its glutenous inspiration, it was still a delicious and healthy alternative to a classic. Go ahead, try your hand with this recipe or check out some of the other great ideas that are emerging in the alternative food world!

 

  • Abigail Snyder

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