Love pizza but hate the carb overload? Well we have the perfect answer for you! Cauliflower pizza sounds impossible but not only is it totally doable, it’s incredibly nutritious! Cauliflower is part of the antioxidant-and vitamin-packed cruciferous vegetable family, the very same one that gave us superfood extraordinaire kale. And don’t worry- there are no boiled cauliflower overtones here- it tastes just like a normal pizza base. Ok well as similar as possible. You can even pick it up without crumbling! There are so many wins with this recipe that you’d be mad not to try it- great to get kids to eat more healthy veggies, great as a dinner you can look forward to that’s light, great as a clean eating appetizer option at your next soiree…
Oh and this is also a vegan and gluten-free recipe, did we forget to mention?
Pizza toppings are a personal affair: you know how you like it! But in case you needed a little bit of inspiration, we share our Middle-Eastern pizza spin!
Cauliflower Pizza Making Tips
- Aside from using a food processor to get that cauliflower ‘rice’ or crumb look, you could also use a cheese grater. You are looking a shredded effect- NOT a puree. Be warned, processed cauliflower is like loose styrofoam and will stick to everything! Make sure to clean as you go to avoid issues at afterwards.
- When squeezing the water out of the cauliflower, be patient and stick at it. You should get a lot of liquid out- we came out with over 2 cups of water. The more liquid you squeeze out, the better the pizza base will hold together- as you decreasing the moisture, and too much moisture impacts crispiness.
- The almond flour is a useful high protein base but if you are allergic to nuts, you can do without the flour.
- Make sure to really combine the base mixture. You can use a processor if you want (make sure speed is not too high as you don’t want a puree).
- Unlike with regular pizza, you need to fully cook the cauliflower pizza base first on its own before adding the toppings. If you are adding toppings that need melting or heating, then you can pop the cooked pizza base and toppings under the broiler/grill for some heat action.
- In terms of thickness, you are looking for 1 to 1.5 cm. Too thick and it may not get crispy, too thin and it will not hold its shape.
- ½ large cauliflower, upper stems and florets only
- ¾ cup nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 phsylium powder ‘egg’ or flaxseed powder ‘egg’
- 3 tbsp almond flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp dried oregano or Italian spice blend
- olive oil brushing
- Preheat your oven to 210 C.
- Cut your cauliflower florets. Wash the florets then process it in the food processor until you get a cauliflower ‘rice’ consistency. You may need to do this in portions if your food processor is small.
- Steam your cauliflower rice until soft. (You can cheat and use the microwave for 5 minutes if you want!) Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 10 – 15 minutes.
- Lay half of the cooled cauliflower in a muslin cloth or tea-towel. Wring it shut and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Put in a bowl. Repeat with the remaining half.
- Mix the nutritional yeast, vegan egg, almond meal and salt & pepper to the cauliflower and mix with your hands. The mixture will feel sticky but not sloppy.
- Line an oven tray with baking paper, and flatten mixture evenly onto the tray.
- Pop the tray into the pre-heated oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Start checking at 10 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the crust.
- Pull out your pizza base. Brush with olive oil to the base and add toppings that need to be cooked.
- Once out of the oven, add other no-cook toppings.
- Slice and serve!
Middle Eastern Topping Inspiration
- tomato base: 1/2 cup homemade tomato ketchup
- char grilled eggplant: Thinly slice 2 long eggplants lengthways, and brush with a little bit of olive oil. Lay aubergine slices flat on hot griddle pan and cook both sides for 4 minutes each or until charred. Repeat with any remaining slices. Set aside.
- marinated vegan feta (Chef Tina Barrat makes an amazing almond feta): Cube 1 cup (100g) ‘feta’ cheese and marinate with 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp sea salt in 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- toasted pine nuts: Add 3 tbps of pine nuts to dry frying pan/skillet and toast for 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat
- ½ cup homemade onion relish
- a handful of fresh mint leaves