Cauliflower crust pizza
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 59: Veggie pizza, any way you slice it


Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Homemade Sauce


I was at a coffee shop down near the university and startled the poor, hipster fellow behind the till by asking if there were any muffins that had gluten.

There were not.

It wasn’t a big deal. Being among the population that can consume gluten without issue, I’ve never gone out of my way to order a gluten-free item. That said, I have now gone out my way to have an awkward gluten conversation with that poor lad.

This tortured analogy is my way of explaining how I feel about cauliflower crust pizza. Why would someone go to effort of making a cauliflower crust if they don’t have to?

Yep, sometimes I really am an idiot.

Given that the cupboards of Castoff Kitchen are getting quite bare, it is time to start casting off preconceived notions and trying out new things. Like turnips. And camping. And cauliflower crust.

If you are gearing up to try cauliflower crust for the first time, consider these good reasons to do so:

  • It is as easy to make as regular pizza crust
  • It tastes good
  • It tastes really good

Ricing the cauliflower and cooking in the microwave was fast and sensible; a few recipes suggested steaming the cauliflower bits in a pot. It is really important to get as much water out of the cooked cauliflower as possible — I didn’t have cheesecloth, but that would have helped. Our crust was a tad damp. Finally, if you are going to effort of doing a cauliflower pizza from scratch, you really should go the distance and make a homemade pizza sauce, too.

Kitchen Castoffs Used

My inhibitions, along with most of a cauliflower that was going a bit brown

Cauliflower crust pizza, with sliced grape tomatoes and a bit of spicy Genoa salami
Cauliflower crust pizza, with sliced grape tomatoes and a bit of spicy Genoa salami. Isn’t it pretty?

This is how we did it

For the cauliflower crust

I borrowed from recipes at popsugar.com and damndelicious.com to make this.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups cauliflower rice. This is about half a large cauliflower head either grated or whipped through a food processor
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp each of oregano, basil and thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil spray
The cauliflower was going a bit brown.
The cauliflower was going a bit brown.

Method

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a pizza pan with some parchment paper, or foil that has been coated with olive oil spray.

Put the grated cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl, cover lightly and cook for about 7 minutes on high. Let it cool, then put the cooked cauliflower into some cheesecloth and squeeze the water out of it. Get it as dry as possible.

In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the egg, cheeses, herbs and seasonings. At this point, it kind of resembles a dough ball. Spread it out on the pizza pan, spray the top lightly with olive oil and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden.

For the tomato sauce

From thekitchn.com. This makes a little more than one cup of sauce

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces of canned tomatoes
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Puree the ingredients together and use as is. You can use more or less liquid from the tomatoes, depending on how thick you want the sauce to be

For the pizza

Ingredients

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • other toppings, as desired (we used a bit of thin-sliced Genoa salami)

Method

Spread the sauce on the baked pizza crust, then add toppings and cheese

Bake another 5 – 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and toppings are heated through.


Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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