March 16, 2013

Cauliflower Crust Cheese Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Cheese Pizza

I must come clean. I’m having too much fun making cauli crust pizza and it’s starting to become an obsession. Thing is, I’m fascinated by how well the cauliflower crust holds and how good it is.
It’s not only about the looks, I love flavor too. It’s just so delicious!
I really wonder why cauli crust pizza hasn’t become a big hit yet. Everybody seems to love it. There’s definitely room for taking up a paleo pizza business...
Plus, while you’re munching a slice you know you’re getting a full serving a cauliflower. On top of that there’s no gluten, low carbs and very few calories. Now, that’s rad!


Squeeze out as much liquid as you can

The secret for the perfect cauli crust lies in squeezing out all the moisture from the cauliflower “flour”. You really need to use some of that elbow grease. If you do it, I promise you’ll get the perfect crust.
I would really like to try how the cauli crust pizza will cook in a proper pizzeria wood-fired brick oven.
I’m sure it will add so many aromas and the crust will get even crustier. Now I’m drooling just thinking about it.


A perfect and tasty cauliflower crust


Actually, I should really do that. I should try making a cauliflower crust pizza in a pizzeria. In fact, my good friend Kelly owns a couple of restaurants here in NYC, and in one of them there’s a fully operating wood-fired brick pizza oven. I’ll try to talk him into that and I’ll deffo let you guys know how that goes!

Cauliflower Crust Cheese Pizza
Cauliflower Crust Cheese Pizza                                                                              Print this recipe!
Adapted from Recipe Girl

Ingredients
Yields a 12-inch pizza (feeds 4)

Crust

1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (should yields about 3 cups once processed)
½ cup / 1.7 oz / 50 gr mozzarella cheese shredded
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
½ teaspoon oregano
pinch of ground black pepper

Topping

2 ladlefuls tomato sauce
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ teaspoon oregano

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease liberally with olive oil.
In a food processor rice the cauliflower. Transfer to a microwave dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, until cooked.
Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze out as much moisture as you can (I squeezed out more than 1 cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry. Otherwise you’ll end up with a mushy dough, not a crusty one.
Transfer the cauliflower flour to a mixing bowl and add egg, mozzarella, oregano, sea salt and pepper.
Using your hands, press the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into a thin pizza “disc”.
Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
Spread tomato sauce evenly on the dough; top with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with oregano.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Serve hot (btw it holds very well when reheated in the microwave)

Nutrition facts

The whole pie has 515 calories, 30 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbs and 73.2 grams of protein.
Assuming that you’re not eating the whole pie by yourself, but that you’re sharing it with 2 other people, then one serving yields 171 calories, 10 grams of fat, 8.3 grams of carbs and 12.4 grams of protein.

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57 comments:

  1. That looks insane. Can't believe the whole pie is just over 500 calorie. I need to try that asap!

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  2. I don't think I can express myself properly when looking at this paleo pizza...it's mouthwatering!

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  3. Wow! Looks so yummy and easy! MUST try the recipe out.

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  4. Looks fantastic, can't wait to try it!

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  5. That just might be the most perfect cauliflower crust I've ever seen. You nailed it!

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  6. What if you don't have a food processor? Any alternative methods of preparation?

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    1. I've heard that some people grate the cauliflower using a hand grater, just prepare yourself because it's going to be tiresome!

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    2. What about using a hand chopper?

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    3. Why not, as long as you can reduce cauliflower to a flour-like substance it should work!

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  7. Delicious! Thanks for posting!

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  8. I made the olives/capers one this weekend, sans squeezing out the liquid in the crust, which definitely made a sadly soggy difference. I'll have to try this one again with getting all the moisture out because even though it was soggy, it was still really really good!

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    1. Christine you have to do the squeezing, it makes such a difference.
      If you do it you'll able to eat the pizza with your hands; no soggy or crumbly stuff but a crunchy crust instead! :)

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  9. Do you squeeze the water out while the cauliflower is hot? I was wondering if I let it cool some would I still get the same amount of liquid out? I found the cauliflower too hot to handle just out of the microwave.

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    1. The first time I squeezed out liquid while the cauliflower was still hot and burned my hands (not a wise thing to do). The second time around I waited a couple of minutes and it was much better.
      Although you shouldn't wait too long because if the cauliflower is still warm you'll get better results!

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  10. Great recipe! What if I don't own a microwave?

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    1. I'm thinking that probably the best option would be to boil in water for 3 to 4 minutes max. Drain it in a colander lined with a tea towel, and then when it has cool off a bit use it to squeeze out all the liquid (the cauliflower rice needs to be dry, I can't stress that enough).
      Happy cooking!

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  11. Another crazy awesome recipe :) I've made cauliflower pizza before but without draining the water...what a difference! Your recipes are amazing, I use so many of them I've lost count. Thank for providing healthy food with so much goodness and flavor.

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    1. Thank you Courtney, that is so nice of you!

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  12. Do you think frozen cauliflower would work?

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    1. I don't see any particular issue using frozen cauliflower as long as you squeeze out the liquid after microwaving it!

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  13. This looks AMAZING. I'm wondering if you think using a dehydrator to dry out the cauliflower would work the same as squeezing in a tea towel?

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    1. I really think so. The dehydrator is the tea towel "2.0" ;)

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  14. Do you think a magic bullet would work instead of a food processor? I have half a head of cauliflower left and have been dying to try this crust idea...

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    1. Absolutely. The Magic Bullet is a small food processor, you might need to rice the cauliflower in batches, but other than that I'm sure it'll work perfectly!

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  15. Made this today... so darn good!! The crust has such a great flavor!

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  16. Ok, I have made this twice and I can not get this to make a crust. It is just mush underneath. I have squeezed the life out of it to get water out. It is still delicious but not a crust? Any suggestions?

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    1. I thought about it, maybe it has something to do with the mozzarella you're using. Try with a different brand and see how that goes.
      I've been making this pizza at least once a week and it always comes out great: crunchy and yummy!

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  17. I thought cheese wasn't paleo?

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    1. I think it depends on what your goal is, whether you are doing paleo to just be healthy or doing it as a fad diet to shed pounds.

      But paleo lifestyle includes food that is not very processed, and from direct sources ie. organic, free range etc. (esp. meats)

      In regards to cheeses, I believe it's better to have fermented cheeses and cheese that aren't processed like american sliced cheese. Blue cheese, goat cheese, sheep milk cheese, etc is all paleo.

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    2. But if someone can correct me if I'm wrong, because there are many different variations of paleo :)

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    3. One of the main things you're supposed to avoid in a paleo diet is dairy. This is not necessarily due to the processing but to the research on how adult humans digest dairy. Therefore a paleo diet should not include cheese.

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    4. You guys are correct, I'm actually going to change the name from "Paleo" to "Cauliflower Crust" as to avoid any misunderstanding!

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  18. Do you think you could rice the cauliflower in a bullet?

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  19. Thanks Mike. I want to make this tonight for the family. My 13 year old says he hates cauliflower so we shall see. Thanks for all the great recipes. I appreciate it. I'd love to try the Cauliflower crust Calzone soon, too. Will try the "desserts" too so that they can have something healthy to take to school.

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    1. You're welcome Rhonda! Remember to squeeze out the moisture from the cauliflower, that's the most important part in order to get a good tasting (and not mushy) crust.

      BTW I made this last night for dinner and served to some very "suspicious" friends of mine, and they loved it.
      Let's hope your son will capitulate for the cauliflower crust as well!

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  20. Thanks Mike. I hope so too. We're not going to tell him about the cauliflower until he's tasted it! I'll let you know how it goes.

    If I use a pizza stone, do I need to put parchment paper on it?

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  21. Replies
    1. Honestly Juliet I've never tried. In theory it should work fine, I'm just concerned that it might get soggy when defrosted.

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  22. Do you know of or tried a good similar recipe without cheese in the base?

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    1. Not really, and I'm not sure it would actually hold together without the cheese

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  23. What does "rice the cauliflower " mean? What size of "cauliflower crumbs" am I after?

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    1. You're after something in-between breadcrumbs and rice. In other words like medium breadcrumbs. Makes sense?

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  24. I'm going to try chopping and then roasting the cauliflower because I don't use the microwave. Seems like it would turn out drier than cooking in water. I'll report back :)

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  25. I used the shredding disk on the food processor. Spread out the riced cauliflower on a baking sheet and roasted it at 450 for 25 minutes, until it was barely speckled brown. I let it cool about 10 minutes then put it in a nut milk bag to squeeze out the juice. Then mixed it with the rest of the ingredients. It made an edible "pizza". I'm not sure it the roasting was an improvement or not.

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    1. Thanks Shelley for the feedback. Apparently microwave (or boiling) still is the most viable option for making cauliflower crust.

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  26. Where might I find a tea towel?

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    1. Any houseware store (such as Crate&Barrel, SurLaTable or IKEA) carries hundreds of different kind of tea towels (also known as dish towels or drying-up cloth). But I have the gut feeling that if you look right now in one of your kitchen drawers, you might find one! :-)

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  27. Is there an alternative to the egg in the crust?
    I love your recipes, especially the quinoa eggplant parmesan casserole!

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  28. Just wondering how much of the vitamin content the cauliflower loses when you squeeze so much of the moisture out of it? I am new at this, so just wondering as I want to ensure I don't lose the benefit of the cauliflower :) Thanks for your thoughts!

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  29. I made this, it came out great. Can't believe you can actually pick it up it really is amazing.

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  30. What if you don't have a microwave?

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  31. Thank you so much for this recipe!
    I haven't had a pizza in about 2 years (since going primal) and was missing it from time to time. Your recipe sounded just right and the photos certainly looked tempting. I made it tonight and... we ate it all!
    I made it with a homemade tomato sauce, onion, mushrooms, salami and plenty of mozzarella. It came out very yummy :)

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  32. This was delicious!!! It came out so attractive, that I ate half alone without waiting for my husband to be back from work :D
    As dutch say "echt lekker" hahaha!!! (I suppose you would have learned this expression:) )

    Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. I'm so happy you enjoyed the cauli crust pizza Lilit, it's...smakelijk, right? ;)

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