I ticked something new off my to-do-list last weekend, I got to bike across the Golden Gate Park and it was fantastic. The weather was gorgeous, no fog and warm plenty of sunshine, in San Francisco that is a rare but cherished weather feature. After our bike ride we stopped by a Cuban restaurant called Cha Cha in the Haight-Ashbury district and got ourselves some sangrias and a cuban sandwich each. The food was perfect and so was the holiday weekend! What did you do?
Dan of A Blog Eats wrote an article on me, this little blog and fusion food, please do check it out if you have a moment.
I've been wanting to try my own cauliflower based pizza crusts for a while, so this past weekend I did a lot of experimenting in the kitchen. I've had a lot of friends rave about this crust because it's paleo-friendly, gluten free and also, an easy way to get some veggies into the diet. My first attempt was not very good, the crust was way too soggy in the center and it kept falling apart. I had started with greek yogurt and an egg as binding agents but it just added way too much liquid to the pizza "dough". To prevent this, I ended up double baked the crust similar to the way we bake pie crusts and dropped the yogurt. Adding a little flaxmeal also helped with tying up any moisture in the "dough". I didn't use my pizza stone this time but I definitely want to give that a shot when I make this crust again.
I'm only sharing the crust recipe here so top them with your favorite ingredients. I've adapted and modified the recipes from How Sweet Eats and Bakers Royale who give some great tips on cauliflower pizza making. I didn't microwave the cauliflower to release excess liquid, I might try this the next time. When it comes to pizza toppings I like to play around and go with whatever I'm craving that day. I ended up using two types of toppings, each had a little bit of marinara sauce, some with some thick slices of tomatoes and one with pepperoni for M. But each of them had a generous, okay a crazy amount of mozzarella cheese because I love cheese a lot!
cauliflower pizza crust
yields: 2 X 8 inch pizzas (they might slightly smaller or larger depending on how thick or thin you make them)
4 cups cauliflower, raw, finely grated* (should resemble the texture of bulgur)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons ground flax seeds or flaxmeal
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Place one wire rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add and mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or spatula until the shredded cauliflower is completely coated. (The mixture should be wet, if you feel that it needs more liquid I recommend adding a teaspoon of plain greek yogurt)
3. Take half of this mixture and place it in the center of one of the prepared baking pans. Spread and shape the mixture into a circular 8 inch disc on the parchment paper with your hands. Place the baking sheet with the cauliflower pizza (without any toppings) on the middle rack. Bake for about 20 minutes until the pizza begins to turn light golden on the edges and the center is slightly firm to touch. Immediately remove the pizza from the oven and layer with your favorite toppings and cheese. Place the pizza back in the oven and bake for another 30-40 minutes (time might change a little depending on the type of toppings) until the toppings are cooked and slightly blistered. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before slicing. Repeat instructions to prepare the second pizza.
Note: * I started with 1 lb of raw cauliflower and then grated it in a food processor but you can also do this manually with a cheese grater. I didn't spray the parchment paper with cooking oil, the pizza came off the sheet easily once it was cooked.