Today there’s some magic on the blog for you all (you lucky people).
You see, today I am going to be turning this…
Into – drum roll - this…
Oh yeahhh, pizzaa!! …but not your normal, thousands-of-calories pizza. This is cauliflower crust pizza (or “flower power” pizza as it’s sometimes called). And this is my definitive, fool-proof recipe.
Variations of the cauliflower pizza recipe have been making the rounds on pinterest and twitter a lot (I first saw and tried it back in 2013) but the first few recipes I tried just didn’t work. The crust didn’t come together, and it all got stuck to the baking sheet and for the most part all of it just tasted a bit… meh.
There were some which worked marginally better, but they often had small amounts of flour in – buckwheat usually – which made me wonder what the point of going to all of the effort with the cauliflower was (the whole point of this is to be a grain free recipe as far as I’m concerned). Plus the buckwheat gave it an odd, pancake-like taste. I gave up on the whole thing for a while.
But lately, with Autumn creeping up on us in London and the days getting noticeably shorter, I have been really hankering for some good, comforting pizza in the evenings. So I revisited this recipe (real pizza is completely off limits at the moment – wedding diet) and finally managed to tweak it to get a good result. That’s why I call this recipe definitive – it is tried and tested and tried again, and incorporates all of the good bits from the various versions with my own little tweaks here and there too.
I promise if you follow this step by step you can’t go wrong.
To make the pizza base you will need:
- 1 small cauliflower
- 2 eggs
- 100g grated parmesan
- 50g grated light mozzarella
- a big pinch of sea salt
- 2 tsps oregano
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- olive oil
- black pepper
And then you can add whatever toppings you fancy. I’ve gone for mushroom, parma ham and rocket. If you want to make the same you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp organic passata (or homemade tomato sauce – I promise to blog this recipe soon)
- 2 or 3 slices of parma ham
- a handful of roughly torn portabellini or chestnut mushrooms
- buffalo mozzarella
- black pepper
- olive oil
1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C and place a lined baking sheet on the top shelf to heat up. Remove the florets from the cauliflower and wash and drain them in a colander. After shaking as much of the excess water off as possible, place the florets in a food processor and blitz them until they are the consistency of coarse bread crumbs. Be careful not to overdo it – you don’t want a big mush of cauliflower.
2. Tip the cauliflower into a large bowl and microwave on high heat for 90 seconds. (I’m not sure what this bit does exactly, but some recipes call for it and some don’t – mine always work better after this step so I’ve kept it in). Then empty the cauliflower onto a clean tea towel or muslin cloth and wring it out over the sink several times to try and remove every last drop of water. You may need to wear rubber gloves for this as the cauliflower will be quite hot from the microwave.
3. Return the cauliflower to a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, oregano, chilli flakes, parmesan, mozzarella and 2 eggs. Mix with a spoon until the dough comes together into a sticky squidgy ball. Don’t worry too much if it doesn’t fully hold it’s shape – it doesn’t need to be rolled out but can simply be spread out using your hands or the back of a spoon.
4. Shape the “dough” on your prepared baking sheet as thinly as you can into whatever pizza shape you wish. Some people use a rolling pin but I just like to flatten it with my hands. If you have any minor tears or holes as you’re shaping simply patch up with more mixture as you go along. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Turn the oven down to 200C and bake on the top shelf for 7 – 9 minutes, or until the top has started to go brown a little (see photo below). Then add your toppings and bake for a further 9 – 10 minutes (or until done).
And there you have it…
One pizza will feed around 2 – 3 people. The dough is more filling than normal pizza as it’s enriched with cheese. I would recommend serving it on a sharing plate with a big salad or homemade coleslaw on the side.
I should say by way of warning this recipe doesn’t taste exactly like normal pizza of course – it definitely has a cauliflowery-cheesy tang to it. For me it still delivers on the pizza hit massively though and it is so wonderful that you can have it while on a low carb diet. Also the fact that you can slice it and eat it with your fingers (which you can’t with other no-carb pizza recipes) makes this a real winner.
Absolutely delicious…. and grain-free!!
*South Beach Phase One friendly