31 July 2014

~ Cauliflower Pizza Crust~

I saw a recipe for cauliflower pizza crust (It's gluten free for those of you with those concerns.) and have been planning to try it for months... literally! As in I titled this blog post and have been changing the schedule date since January. 

Life has been so busy!

I also kept putting it off for a rather depending-on-how-you-look-at-it practical reason: I don't have an electric food processor and I couldn't imagine processing all of the cauliflower necessary to feed my gang manually. I'd considered using the blender, but was pretty sure wouldn't work for this recipe. That's a fact which I did confirm, by the way.

I'd also heard that it wasn't the kind of pizza you could pick up and eat with your hands... and frankly, what sort of pizza is that.

Hence, the rational for my procrastination.

But it is summer, I found gorgeous cauliflower at the Farmer's Market a few weeks back (See? I still procrastinated. It sat in the fridge for 2.5 weeks and had a few icky spots I had to cut off.), and I couldn't say I didn't have on a rainy Tuesday afternoon.

Ingredients for the crust:
  • 1 head cauliflower 7 - 8" wide
  • 1 egg, large
  • a large handful Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded & not packed (we used mozzarella)
  • dump in some Italian herb seasoning (we also used additional basil and rosemary)
  • a sprinkle of salt
  • about 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

The process:
  1. Preheat oven to 375'
  2. Process cauliflower in food processor until it looks like rice.
  3. Roast cauliflower and garlic for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Turn oven temp up to 450'
  5. Wrap roasted cauliflower in cheesecloth or light weight dish towel and squeeze ALL liquid out. 
  6. Unwrap cauliflower, mix cauliflower around, re-wrap and squeeze a second time.
  7. Mix cauliflower, egg, cheese and spices together.
  8. Flatten mixture on lightly oiled baking sheet (Most recipes I saw suggested using parchment paper. I didn't have any.).
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes until lightly browned.
  10. Add toppings (a) homemade pizza sauce, sliced sausage and cheese & (b)no sauce - we layered fresh sliced tomatoes onions, garlic (we like garlic), fresh basil from Brendan 's herb garden and cheese. We used colby-jack cheese - because sometimes you just use what you have!
  11. Bake for another 4 or so minutes until cheese is melted and toppings are hot.

We could cut, spatula off the baking sheet, pick this up and eat it just like real pizza. And? Two slices per person definitely filled us up. We liked both, but most of us preferred the veggie one (fresh basil is such a delight), except for the littles. That's not normal, especially for Tim, Bren and Rebekah... at least not when it comes to pizzas.

As I mentioned, I don't have an electric food processor - just a little one that I used to use for baby food, so chopping the cauliflower to a rice-like consistency - four large heads of cauliflower to make two cookie sheet sized pizzas to feed the 10 of us - took a long time... But otherwise wasn't too labor intensive.

The consensus? Definitely a REPEAT!!!! Some were complaining of sore tummies afterwards, probably because of all that cauliflower. I also have a sneaking suspicion that grated cabbage or zucchini could be used in lieu of cauliflower... but we haven't experimented just yet! 

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