5.14.2013

Naughty, but Nice >> Cauliflower Crust


Sorry it's been so quiet around here this last week! It's not for a lack of inspiration, in fact, quite the opposite.  It's more a lack of time and energy. I've been working some extra hours the last couple of weeks, plus a lot of my internet time has been consumed by stalking Craigslist for places to live. No luck so far. Sigh.

However, a girl still needs to eat, right? Enter this week's entry to the What She Ate link up! This week's challenge: naughty, but nice. I pinned a recipe for a cauliflower crust pizza not long ago, and was intrigued by the premise. I'm a sucker for anything that sneaks veggies in where you least expect them (note my smoothie obsession). Plus I LOVE LOVE LOVE pizza; I'd eat it nearly everyday if I could. Oh wait, I can, and sometimes I do. :)

I ended up reading through a couple of different recipes and the comments from people who tried them, and came up with my own version. And this is not just hyperbole -- it was SO GOOD. Definitely a keeper. My husband, who hates cauliflower and made a face when I brought it home, also loved it. He declared, "best cauliflower ever," and then questioned if there was actually even cauliflower in it.

Here's what I did >

1 c. grated raw cauliflower (about two c. florets)
1 egg
1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
2 tsp Italian seasoning blend (oregano, basil, parsley)
1 clove of garlic, minced
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 450F. If you have a pizza or baking stone, this is a great time to bust it out. If not, no worries, a baking sheet will do, too. Leave it in the oven to heat up while the oven heats.

I used a food processor (well, sorta, the thing I make smoothies with) to mince the cauliflower finely, and then I laid a stack of paper towels in a colander and let the cauliflower drain for awhile. I pressed it with my fingers to get as much of the water out as possible. Alternatively, you could mix in the pinch of salt here and then let it sit for awhile to drain. The salt will help draw the moisture out. This step will help in getting a crisper crust, but is not totally necessary. Then mix the cauliflower with all the remaining ingredients, and mound onto a sheet of parchment.

Press the mixture out into a 12" circle as evenly as possible. The mixture won't exactly hold together right now, so just mash it and keep it formed. When you're happy with your circle, open the oven, pull out the rack with the pre-heated stone or pan, and carefully lift and set the parchment paper with crust on it. Bake for 10-15 minutes, keeping a careful eye on it towards the end.

Alright, donezos! From here, do what you will with it. You can top it with sauce and your favorite toppings, and stick it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. You could make it into breadsticks. Make a flatbread. Here, we went with no sauce, and just the classics: a little more shredded mozz, sliced tomato, and fresh basil. NOM NOM NOM.

Not exactly guilt-free pizza, but pretty close. Gluten free if that's your thing, vegetarian (maybe a vegan version with a couple of subs is possible?), and sneaks in extra veggies. Definitely naughty but nice in my book!

Want to cook (and eat!) along with us in two weeks? Let me know and I'll get you set up with the goods.

shanti >> sondra

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6 comments:

  1. I've seen "cauliflower crust" recipes popping up in the strangest places lately. I've got some at home...maybe I should give it a try this week! Yours looks super tasty. Love this new feature.

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  2. abhaya_sondra5/14/13, 3:02 PM

    I was shocked at how good it is... and I forgot to say this in the post, but the cup of cheese that's in it - I used a pretty loose cup so it's not really as much as it sounds like. Delish!

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  3. This looks great! I'm wondering: after you top it with yummy toppings, does it have to be broiled....? Because I've had some food disasters with broiling.

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  4. abhaya_sondra5/14/13, 7:52 PM

    you certainly don't have to, but if you want the toppings cooked or melted you would. You could also try not using the broiler and just baking it more. I've had a few broiler incidents myself...my success has come from checking on it compulsively, like every 20-30 seconds. :)

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  5. Megan Butcher5/15/13, 7:47 PM

    This look amazing - totally tryin' it! Thanks for sharing :D yumm!

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