I’ve been wanting to try a cauliflower pizza base for ages, and as I had a big bowl of riced cauliflower and broccoli sitting in the back of the fridge that needed using up, the time had come. And surprise of all surprises, it worked perfectly! Why do I say that? Because I’ve heard of some monumental disasters.
So, I watched with some trepidation as it cooked in the oven, browning nicely. Then it was time to flip it. Would it work? It certainly did! I was amazed. And when out of the oven sitting there in all its topped glory, would it cut without crumbling? Well, it sliced beautifully, and we could even pick it up like a regular slice of pizza. To say I was impressed is an understatement. And of course, those of you who are wheat intolerant like me or into a Keto-based diet, it’s the perfect alternative. So here it is, and as you will see, there is a trick to it.
Cauliflower Pizza Base
Ingredients: Makes one medium sized pizza base
- 1 large egg
- 5-6 cups cauliflower rice (I included broccoli rice)
- 1 teaspoon of dried herbs of your choice
- 1/3 cup soft goats cheese or 1/2 cup grated mozzarella/parmesan/vegan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Topping: Toppings of choice plus cheese of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 220 C/450 F.
- To rice the cauliflower, place washed florets into a food processor and blend until you’ve reached the required consistency.
- Next, the cauliflower rice needs to be cooked for a short time to bring out the moisture. You can do it several different ways. Either on baking paper in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes, cooked for about 5 minutes in a covered pot filled with about an inch/3 cm of boiling water and drained, or heated in a large oil-sprayed pan on the stove, stirring occasionally to avoid burning (my choice).
- When done, place a thin towel on a large plate or in a large bowl and spread the cauliflower out on top to let it cool.
- Now this is the trick, but don’t do it while the cauliflower is hot. When cool to the touch, pull the ends of the towel together and twist the cauliflower into a tight ball, and then with all your might, keep tightening to squeeze out ALL the liquid. This takes quite a bit of strength and was too much for me, so I used a spatula – I squashed the liquid out of the ball onto the plate and drained it off. It was easier and worked well.
- Next, in a large bowl whisk together the egg, dried herbs, salt and pepper.
- Then add the cheese and cauliflower ball and mix well with a fork.
- Place mixture on an oven tray covered with oil-sprayed baking paper, flatten and make it into the shape you want. The thickness should be 1/2 to 3/4 cm or 1/4 inch. Don’t make it too thin or you won’t be able to flip it.
- Bake for about 20 minutes at 220 C/450 F until it’s nicely browned, then take it out of the oven, flip carefully with two spatulas and bake for another 2-3 minutes.
- When it’s ready, add your toppings plus cheese and bake until the cheese is just how you want it. If you like it bubbly and you’re worried about the pizza edges burning, put it under a hot grill for a minute.
- When done, carefully slide it onto a plate and slice.
- NOTE: It’s fine to add a thin layer of tomato-based sauce before you add your toppings once the base is fully cooked – it won’t soften or cause the base to crumble.
- NOTE: I haven’t done it, but apparently the base can be frozen.
So, there you have it – the all vegetarian pizza with a dash of cheese.
Happy cooking and enjoy!
Inara Hawley © 2018