I’m posting this cauliflower pizza recipe for anybody who is yet to try it, or for those of you who, like me, have tried making cauliflower pizza in the past and have been painfully disappointed. If you’ve thrown in the towel on cauliflower pizzas like I did, please, just give it one more chance. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised. This base is soft but crispy, just the right amount of cheesey, and you can confidently hold it in your hands (and bend it!) without it falling apart.
When I first started eating a low carb diet I was intrigued by the cauliflower pizza. It looked to be a fairly easy pizza alternative but sadly, after more failed attempts than I care to admit, I gave up on the dream. Pretty much every time I tried making cauliflower pizza I ended up in a big, sloppy mess that stuck to whatever I cooked it on. Boo.
Last week, however, I stumbled across South Beach Primal‘s Bacon Cauliflower Cheese Sticks and I couldn’t help myself from trying the elusive cauliflower crust just one more time. I mean seriously, look at her photos. Mouth. Watering. So I went for it, and they were a success! As Rachel points out in her post, it’s incredibly important to wring out ALL of the water from the cauliflower, which is where I think I fell short in the past.
Once I made the Bacon Cheese Sticks I couldn’t wait to make the base again and use it for a pizza with some extra cheese and pepperoni. Over this past week I’ve probably made cauliflower pizza 8 times. I regret nothing.
500g cauliflower, fresh or frozen
2 cups grated mozzarella
1 egg, beaten
Marinara/pizza sauce (see note)
Pepperoni, or whatever other topping you desire
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 220ºC. Cook your cauliflower. If you’re like me and use frozen cauliflower, just microwave it for 5 – 7 minutes, until it has cooked through. Alternatively, cook it in a pot of water on the stove until just cooked.
2. Whiz your cooked cauliflower in a food processor for a few seconds to create cauliflower rice. Don’t whiz it too far, or you will end up with puree. I usually do mine in batches, otherwise I find that my cauliflower is unevenly processed – the bottom layer is smooth cauli mush while there are still unprocessed florets on the top.
3. WRING OUT YOUR CAULIFLOWER. Seriously, go nuts. Get every single freaking drop of water out of the cauliflower rice. To do this I used a cheese cloth bag, which I picked up from an Asian grocery for a few dollars. You could also use regular cheese cloth, or a nut milk bag. Whatever you use, wring out your cauliflower like crazy.
4. Did you get all of the water out of the cauliflower? Wring it again.
5. Wring it one more time.
6. Combine your very dry cauliflower rice with the egg, 1 cup of mozzarella and salt and pepper.
7. Tip the cauliflower mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, and spread it evenly into a rectangle.
8. Cook the base for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese has lightly browned, the top is firm and the edges are starting to crisp.
9. Remove the base from the oven and spread over your pizza sauce, sprinkle the remaining cup of mozzarella, followed by the pepperoni and some dried oregano, or whatever other herbs you like on your pizza.
10. Return the pizza to the oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and/or started to bubble and brown
11. Remove from the oven and devour.
Note: To make your own quick pizza sauce, just combine 200g of canned diced tomatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, 1/2 tsp of sweetener, salt, pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until thick and delicious.