I love cauliflower.I know many people hear the word cauliflower and turn up their noses but believe me, if you are one of those, you are seriously missing out. Cauliflower on its own can be bland, I agree, but with the right spices and herbs it becomes irresistible! If you don’t believe me, try my cauliflower fritters or makloubeh or cauliflower sushi salad or stop by Sally’s blog and try her amazing cauliflower creation. I can guarantee any of these recipes will ensure that cauliflower will be at the top of your shopping list in no time.
For this month’s Secret recipe club assignment, I had Nicole’s blog Daily Dish Recipes .Nicole is a mom of 5 kids and 4 fur babies (wow!) cooking and baking her way through life. She specializes in family friendly meals. Most of her recipes are easy and inexpensive. She is also an author and a scrapbooker.
I loved going through Nicole’s archives, she has a wonderful collection of recipes and I actually bookmarked quite a few of them. Like her game day dips and her Cobb salad but when I saw her cauliflower pizza crust, I knew I found my winner.
You see, I have been intrigued by the idea of a cauliflower crust for quite sometime. Being low carb, gluten free and grain free made the recipe quite popular lately among those looking for a healthy alternative to the regular pizza crust. After trying it, I can confidently tell you that you NEED TO try this even if you don’t follow a grain free or gluten free diet.
I know what you’re thinking, come on Sawsan, all this healthy stuff tastes..healthy! (by the way,when did healthy become synonymous with bland and flavorless? )
I can confidently tell you that this pizza crust doesn’t taste healthy at all. It was light and chewy, it held itself together quite well, like any regular dough based cruse. Added to that, the addition of the herbs and cheese gave it wonderful flavor that beautifully complimented the toppings.For the ultimate test, I made the pizza and told the kids that it was a new “dough” recipe and they actually loved it so much, that they asked to take the leftovers to school the next day.
Before I get to the actual recipe, I have to tell you that when I was researching the recipe, I came across so many posts complaining about mushy, crumbly, undercooked, over cooked, bland cauliflower crusts. The recipe is simple enough but there are a couple of key points that you need to pay attention to. I have found this post quite helpful ,I am highlighting them throughout the recipe to guarantee that if you follow the instructions, you’ll get the perfect crust every single time.
Cauliflower pizza crust
- 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower (2 to 3 cups once processed and after pressing you will get 1 cup)
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs ( I used 1/2 teaspoon basil and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
- 1 clove of garlic minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (I used 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese)
Sliced mushroom, yellow pepper, pitted olives, mini hot dogs,basil leaves , mozzarella cheese
- Place a pizza stone in the oven, or turn a baking sheet upside down and use it if you don’t have a pizza stone.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Prepare a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil.
- Wash and thoroughly dry the head of cauliflower.
- Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
- Place the florets into your food processor and process until they are the size of rice.
- Place the cauliflower rice in a pot and add enough water to fill the pot 2/3 of the way up.
- Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes
- Drain the cauliflower rice
- Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and twist the towel around the cauliflower and wring it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly miss you have to eat with a spoon.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cauliflower, egg whites, mozzarella,parmesan, herbs and garlic and mix by hand, you sort of knead the dough together.
- Transfer the crust to your parchment paper.Press evenly in the pan. Make sure it is as tight as you can make it. You also don’t want it to be too thin or too thick. Mine was 1 cm thick.
- With the help of a cutting board, transfer the parchment to the oven
- Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it after the 10 minute mark. When it starts turning golden brown, it’s done
- Remove the pan from the oven. Add your sauce, toppings and cheese.
- Place under a broiler till the cheese melts and bubbles. Watch it carefully or it will burn.