(I’ve had some requests to revisit and repost this recipe from my old site [archive]. Here it is!)
A former roommate had a tradition of hosting pizza parties, at which she’d provide dough and friends would bring toppings. I wanted to participate, but don’t eat gluten and try to limit my grain intake a bit.
Luckily, over at Low Carb Examiner, I spotted a recipe for a cauliflower pizza crust, the brainchild of Jamie VanEaton. The crust is made only of cauliflower, eggs and mozzarella, with some optional herbs and spices. No flour, no grains, no gluten. I bought some cauliflower, mozzarella, and eggs, and I set to work.
It works beautifully. It’s not bread, but it has the same kind of browned edges and foldable softness a doughy crust has. Even better, it’s filling without giving me the bloated, tired feeling I get from eating all the white flour in a traditional pizza crust. The cauliflower flavor is subtle and appealing. It’s nice to have another cauliflower recipe, since I love cauliflower and frequently cook with it.
You don’t have to be gluten-free or even a cauliflower fanatic to adore this pizza. I brought some sample slices out to the crowd of party-goers and asked for honest opinions. Positive scores all around, especially on pizza 2.0 whose crust I allowed to get a little browner.
Everything in this pizza was local, except for a little olive oil and black pepper.
I’m impressed with the ingenuity and creative simplicity of a bunch of recipes I’ve found on Low Carb Examiner. Jamie has a knack for coming up with low-carb versions of savory carb-heavy comfort foods, but without the kind of substitutes you see in some alternative-ingredient foods, like additives or processed ingredients. She uses simple substitutes like cauliflower, which appears again in the tasty-sounding lasagna and enchiladas. Also, check out her jicama hashed browns, nacho chips made of zucchini, egg and cheese, and a zucchini version of her pizza crust.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza: All local and gluten-free
For the crust:
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cooked, mashed cauliflower
- 1 cup grated mozzarella
- Optional: herbs or seeds. The original creator of this recipe used fennel, oregano and basil. I kept it plain and focused on the toppings.
For the toppings:
- Mild tomato sauce or purée
- Grated mozzarella cheese
- Ricotta cheese, for small dollops on top
- Assorted vegetables. I used sautéed onions and chanterelles, fresh button mushrooms, basil, fresh small summer squash, and fresh tomatoes
- Optional: olive oil, black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. (Mine was at 500 and worked fine; I was sharing the oven with other pizzas.)
2. Cook cauliflower until it’s soft. Use whatever method you prefer: steam, boil, roast, pressure cook, whatever. Mash it up with a ricer. Mix in egg and mozzarella.
3. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. If using a pizza stone, cover it in aluminum foil and then put down parchment paper. Spread out your dough batter about 3/4 inch thick and eight or nine inches wide. (I doubled the batter but still baked it as two separate batches.) Let it brown, about 12-15 minutes.
4. Take it out and cover it with your toppings. Bake again until crust edges brown further and cheese on top melts. Serve hot.
The crust from the first version, although I preferred the browner second crust.
The first pizza:
The second pizza: