Wednesday, April 25, 2018

FIRST RUN: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The purpose of this post is not to share an incredible recipe for a cauliflower pizza crust but as a guide to start with to create your own. I will be perfecting this in the future so a more definitive recipe will come later.

Hot out of the oven.
A friend was talking about pizza recently and I mentioned I had only eaten it once in the last three months because of my new "avoid carbs if possible" eating habits. I realized then that my lack of pizza was creating a dark culinary cloud in my kitchen. The wheels started turning, and later that night I did some research.

Cauliflower pizza crust stood out to me as the low-carb alternative for me to try because I had been working with cauliflower quite frequently over the last three months. I knew that it's mild flavor would be a nice canvass for the sauce and cheese of a basic pizza at the very least.

When it was all said and done, I really enjoyed the taste. The crust wasn't as stiff as I would have liked but it really was like eating pizza, and I enjoyed the process of making it. It's a bit more work than anything I would want to make three or four nights a week, but it was perfect for a Saturday afternoon when time was not of the essence.

Delicious cold leftovers.
The basic ingredient guidelines I used:
3 C of riced cauliflower,
(Use 1/2 to 3/4 of a head; remove as much stem as possible, then blitz into a grainy texture in a food processor)
1 C Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 egg

The key
Cook the processed cauliflower through, let cool and squeeze out as much moisture as possible before mixing everything together.

The crust
Mix cooked and drained cauliflower with other ingredients until well incorporated, then spread into the shape of a pizza crust (12 to 14 inches round, 1/4 inch thick) on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 400° to solidify and turn edges golden brown.

The Pizza
Top the baked crust with pizza toppings and bake 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly, slice and serve.

The Takeaway
There are many options to play with here. Not just toppings, but the crust also.

I cooked the cauliflower with sauteed onion for added flavor and I used a lot, which made it very prominent in the overall finished pizza. Next time, I am going to leave out the onion and add a fresh herb instead, either rosemary or thyme, just to perfume the crust with a traditional Italian flavor.

I cooked the cauliflower in a skillet on the stove. In the future, I want to try and spread it out in a pan and roast it to see if I can evaporate more of the liquid through the roasting process rather than trying to squeeze as much as I can out after it's cooked.

I think this would work as a tortilla for tacos or even a wrap. What I made was very pliable and had to cool completely before it was stiff enough to hold like a normal slice of pizza. That may have to do with the moisture in the cauliflower, I don't know though. I will find out more when I make it again - In the very-near future!

Eat well, cook often ...

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