Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pizza - Surprise, it's Cauliflower! going along with the whole cauliflower thing, and that it was almost 2014 when I made this, I figured I would try out the cauliflower base for a pizza. Later this week I will try the zucchini one and see which one we like the best.  Now, This isn`t thick crust pizza, or even thin crust. However, it tasted nothing like cauliflower, more like if you had decided to use a flatbread for your crust. Obviously, there is a little more work involved than making your own dough, or even pulling out a store bought crust, but I think, overall, that it is worth the effort as you can still trick yourself into thinking it is pizza if you are trying to start out on the healthier side this year.

I looked at a bunch of different recipes and combined some and then made it my own way. Apparently nearly everyone has trouble picking it up like a regular pizza. However, good news for us on this side of the pond: that`s not what you do with pizza. We use a knife and fork to eat it. Problem solved. (Actually, mine held together relatively well, and I cut it into squares. The edge pieces I could pick up, but not the middle ones).

What you need:
1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup grana padano (or parm) cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella or pizza cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp majoram
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano

 For the toppings, you will need to cook them while your dough is cooking as when you put it all together, you will keep it in just long enough for the cheese to melt.

I used mushrooms, red onions and bell peppers as that is what I had, but pile on your favorites! The more liquidy your ingredients though, the less likely your dough will be able to stay together.

Pre-heat your oven to 230 C

First, cut out the core of the cauliflower. This makes the florets pretty much just drop off without a ton of mess.

Now, I pureed mine next, and then put them in the microwave for 3 minutes. I have read the other way around as well. I think if you decide you want your cauliflower super fine, then microwave it first before putting it in the blender.  I have also seen large `rice` size chunks to `sand` size chunks. I started out on the larger side, then decided to blend again to make them smaller, thought I didn`t get down the sand size.

After you have microwaved it and chopped it up (whichever order you do), let it cool and then place in a clean dish towel and squeeze as much liquid out as you can. This will help it stay together a bit better.

Put in a bowl and add the spices, cheeses and egg. The cheese and egg will make it stay together. Feel free to add a bit more cheese if you would like.

Spread on parchment paper, add another piece on top and roll out to the desired shape. My cauliflower made 2 good size oval shapes. I did roll it rather thin though in the hopes that it would stay together well. Didn`t happen as much as I wanted (though it came apart in large chunks at least, not tiny ones). Next time I will try about 5 or 6mm.

Place in a hot oven, on top of parchment paper. Cook for 7 minutes and then carefully flip your dough and cook for another 5. Take out of the oven. Only the edges will be brown.

I did this a few hours before dinner in the hopes that it would dry a bit and stay together better.

Cook your toppings.

Go lightly on the sauce (though I did see someone suggested putting the cheese down first as a buffer), and then add your cooked toppings and the cheese.

Bake for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. My hubby likes the cheese to be brown, so I needed to cook it a bit longer.

Enjoy, and if you get your crust to hold up like a real pizza, please share :)

Happy New Year!!

Here are some of the websites I was inspired by:
Domesticate Me
Cosmo Hippie Chef
Little Red Window