Monday, March 25, 2013

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I've been gluten free for about 18 months now, and there are very few gluten-filled foods that I miss.  Pasta?  Never liked it.  Bagels?  Feels like lead in my stomach now.  Bread?  Well, ok I miss some kinds of bread.  But pizza?  I have never tried to deny my love for pizza.  The truth is, gluten free versions can never come close to that crisp on the bottom but doughy as you bite in and pull the slice away from your mouth sensation that good brick oven pizza brings into your life.  

I love choosing my toppings and enjoying a taste of each in every bite.  

Pizza can be casual or cozy. 

It is one of the most comforting one-dish meals.  

And it can also be one of the most unhealthy indulgences.

Never having mastered a good gluten free flour-based crust, I decided to try a cauliflower version, and I have to say I am in love with the results!  This is all fresh, made from scratch, and took me less than an hour from the moment I stepped into the kitchen to the moment I took my first bite.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

yield 4 servings


about 1/2 head of cauliflower
1 egg, beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp basil or Italian seasoning

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare your baking sheet.  I used a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, but you may also use a pizza stone or a well-greased cookie sheet.
2.  Rice the cauliflower and then steam in the microwave for 8 minutes.  To rice, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor or a blender until it resembles the size and texture of grains of rice.  Option for microwave free cooking: Steam cauliflower florets in a steamer basket first, then rice them.  If you choose to steam first be mindful that you don't overprocess the cauliflower as it will rice more quickly.
3.  Mix the cooked riced cauliflower with the other ingredients in a large bowl.  The mixture should stick together a bit but will not come together like a traditional dough.
4.  Place the crust mixture onto the baking sheet and form into a pizza shape, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
5.  Bake for 25-30 min until golden brown.
6.  Remove crust from oven and add your toppings.  Return pizza to the oven and heat until cheese is melted and toppings are heated through or browned, about 5 minutes.
A note on toppings:  Remember that this crust is not as gluey and sticky as a traditional pizza crust, so choose lighter toppings.  You will not need much cheese due to the Parmesan in the crust.  You may wish to choose toppings that are already cooked or require less cooking time because they will only be in the oven for a few minutes.  I chose a homemade tomato sauce, mixed greens, black olives, and a little fresh mozzarella. 

Enjoy your gluten and grain free pizza!