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Cauliflower crust “pizza”

Posted in Food & Entertaining

It seems that Los Angeles, after all, didn’t invent avocado on toast as a breakfast item. Somebody in Australia did, although we made it ubiquitous. 

The current trend, to be found on most restaurant menus all over the city, is vegetable crust pizzas. Between the customers who eat Paleo, vegan or  gluten-free, chefs cannot get away anymore with serving just roasted or steamed vegetables. They had to get creative with veggies, and ordering dinner has become more interesting.

The first time I encountered a cauliflower crust pizza was at the Malibu Farm Cafe, a few years ago but now cauliflower seems to have become a substitute for many wheat based dishes.

Calling this dish pizza is a stretch – let’s just say it’s a base to dress as one would a pizza or a flatbread….without the carbs. I finally made it at home with much success: it’s simple, it’s tasty and it will please also the vegetable averse.

RECIPE – Yields two disks

1 medium head of cauliflower

1 or 2 eggs (depending on cauliflower size)

1/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Clean the cauliflower of the outer leaves, cut it into florets and get rid of the thickest stems.
  • Place the florets in a food processor and blitz until you have a rice-like consistency (alternatively, you can grate the cauliflower by hand).
  • Cook the cauliflower in plenty of salted boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain well, squeezing all the water out. Let cool.
  • Mix the cauliflower with one egg, the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. If the mixture seems too dry, add more egg (instead of Parmesan you can also use a creamier cheese like goat, to bind it all together).
  • Shape the mixture into two thin rounds with your hands, flattening them with your palm, over a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer to a baking pan.
  • Cook in a 400F/200C oven for about 20/25 minutes, until the edges start to crisp up. Finish it under the broiler for a few minutes for extra crispness. Remove from the oven and add your favorite toppings (I used cherry tomatoes, avocado and prosciutto).

 

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13 Comments

  1. Interesting… I haven’t seen vegetable crust pizzas pop up here yet, but I’ll be watching out for them now. Might even have a go at making one myself.

    July 27, 2017
    |Reply
    • It will make it to Australia soon, just like avo on toast landed over here!

      July 28, 2017
      |Reply
  2. Carla Pior
    Carla Pior

    Hey CG
    Funnily enough I made this on Tues (cauli rice available here too although I used fresh). I obviously didn’t get quite enough water out as base was soggy and still stuck to the parchment. I tried again last night and dry “fried” the cauli rice first for 5 mins in a frying pan, or skillet as you would say, which seemed to work better and I was able to hold the base proper pizza styley. I have to confess though, as I was trying to convince myself this was good for me, the devil on my shoulder was questioning if life really is too short for healthy pizza and if one should just have the sinful version a little less often and thoroughly enjoy.

    July 27, 2017
    |Reply
    • Frying pan works. But I am here to give you permission to enjoy a real pizza if that is what you feel like. I make this stuff in an effort to eat more vegetables as I get bored with the same stuff.

      July 28, 2017
      |Reply
  3. silvia
    silvia

    What is Paleo? The Malibu Farm Cafè gnammi!!!!

    July 27, 2017
    |Reply
    • Paleo is a diet based on food that existed in Paleolithic times – essentially some grains, fruit, vegs and tons of meat. Whatever. Come back and I will take you back to the Farm!

      July 28, 2017
      |Reply
  4. I agree it is tasty, but not a substitute for Rea pizza. Instead of blanching I slowly roast the grated cauliflower in a low oven as it enhances the flavor.

    July 27, 2017
    |Reply
    • Definitely a better taste option. Blanching is quicker on a weeknight!

      July 28, 2017
      |Reply
  5. I have made this before and it was delicious. I am now trying a plant-based diet so I should try this again!

    July 26, 2017
    |Reply
    • And how is it working out for you? I have eliminated as much meat as my body (iron levels) would allow me but it’s becoming harder and harder for me to eat animal flesh.

      July 28, 2017
      |Reply
  6. I’ve made this many times. Often, depending on the store, I find frozen cauliflower riced. No need to go through all the cutting etc.

    July 26, 2017
    |Reply
    • I had no idea riced cauliflower existed. What a time saver!

      July 26, 2017
      |Reply

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