Cauliflower, broccoli’s ‘bland cousin’ no more in this pizza

Photo By: Alpha Coders
Photo By: Alpha Coders
Photo By: Alpha Coders

Cauliflower seems to be making a serious comeback. It used to be that this vegetable was nothing more than broccoli’s bland cousin, but today, many dishes have begun to incorporate cauliflower in innovative forms that branch out from the standard steamed veggie serving.

Cauliflower’s best kept secret is its unique texture, which consistently absorbs any rich flavor, making it a canvas for spices, sauces and beyond. It also has the ability to effortlessly stand in as a substitute for carbs—a serious plus for individuals with dietary restrictions.

As this new phenomenon is rapidly gaining attention in our everyday culinary culture, some people have gone on to claim that cauliflower may be, in fact, becoming the new kale.

The most popular ways to cook cauliflower tend to be mashing it, roasting it, baking it or using its thick consistency to fill in for bread. Cauliflower thin-crust pizza is a clear winner when it comes to a recipe that is both satisfying for your taste buds and a healthy alternative to a typically carb-loaded dish.

The secret to this recipe is mastering its crust, which, when done right, will impress you so much that you are likely to forget you are consuming a vegetable and not a carb.

Perfecting the pizza crust is key to a delicious cauliflower pizza. It’s generally cooked on top of a pizza stone; however, if you can’t get your hands on one, a baking sheet is the next best thing.

As you wait for your oven to reach 450 degrees, it’s time to prepare the cauliflower.

Begin by washing the vegetable and drying it entirely. Next, cut the florets and omit the stems from your pile (they don’t have the same consistency). Transfer the florets into a food processor for approximately 30 seconds, or until the cauliflower turns into a powder-like mixture (a cheese grater can also be used to break down the cauliflower into powder form). Following this procedure, your florets should produce around two to three cups of cauliflower “powder” which you can now place into a bowl and cover. Next, microwave the bowl for about four minutes and transport the cauliflower onto a clean dish towel to cool before moving on to the next step. If you don’t have a microwave, the floret powder can be steamed as well.

Once the cauliflower powder has cooled down, wrap it up in the dish towel and wring out as much water as you can. It is important to rid the cauliflower of all liquid because too much water will produce a crumbly concoction as opposed to chewy pizza crust.

Once you have removed all its liquid, the cauliflower should feel very light—resembling an alternate form to flour. Transfer this new consistency into a bowl where you will now add parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, kosher salt, crushed up dried basil and oregano, garlic powder and a pinch of red pepper into the mix. Lastly, add a raw egg and use clean hands to mix the collection of ingredients into one solidified dough.

Now it is time to formulate the dough crust by using your hands to mash out a circular shape on parchment paper. Use a cutting board to slide the parchment paper onto a pizza stone or baking sheet and put it in the oven for eight to 11 minutes, or until the edges appear to be a crispy brown.

The rest of the recipe is simple. Once your crust has cooled down a bit, add the toppings you desire for your pizza and finish it off! Whatever you wish to decorate your pizza with, place it back in the oven for another five to seven minutes so the cheese is perfectly melted, bubbly and a tad golden.

Cool again for two minutes and finally use a pizza cutter to serve this irresistible and innovative treat.

The Ingredients

1 medium sized head of cauliflower (should form 2 to 3 cups after being processed)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried basil

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

1 egg

Desired pizza toppings (typically marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese)

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