I almost didn’t write this post because, in a way, I’m completely anti-low-carb diets. I mean, low-carb, in my mind equals no buttery, sweet pastries made with (wheat) flour and sugar. But, my husband has been going on this low-carb, keto/paleo kick, and he’s been cutting down on his carb intake, which then makes me feel guilty for shoveling Cheez-its and muffins into my face every day as an afternoon snack. So, I decided to support him on his journey into this dark, dark place called ‘land with no doughnuts, cake, and everything delicious in life’ by occasionally making keto-friendly (albeit modified) dinners. On the bright side, this is forcing him to eat more vegetables, and the house perpetually smells like bacon and sausage, which I’m totally okay with.
So, thanks to the wonders of Pinterest, I found a bunch of yummy-looking meats-and-greens recipes, and chose one to make for dinner. We’ve had it twice so far, and each time, it’s been satisfying and delicious. It’s pizza! Yes, seriously. Low-carb pizza. Now, look. The New Yorker in me was truly turned off/
slightly highly insulted by this take on a NY staple. I’d almost call it sacrilegious. BUT. The crust. The CAULIFLOWER crust. It bakes into a perfectly crispy, well-seasoned canvas on which to perfect your pizza-decorating art skills. The key is to bake the crust well, and not bog down the pizza with too much sauce and ‘wet’ toppings (e.g., tomato slices).
If you’re looking for a low-carb pizza alternative that actually does taste like pizza, I’d recommend this. Granted, if you’re expecting this to have the texture of a pizza crust made from dough, quit being a fool and just stop reading this. Put down the cauliflower, and call up a pizza place. Cauliflower does not have the same texture as flour-based dough…let’s be real 🙂
Cauliflower Crust Pizza (adapted from The Lucky Penny Blog)
1 medium head of cauliflower
¼ C shredded Mozzarella cheese
¼ C shredded Parmesan cheese
½ tsp dried, crushed basil
½ tsp dried, crush oregano
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes
Toppings (my favorites have been: ground sausage, spinach, sliced mushrooms, black olives, and caramelized onions, sprinkled with more Mozzarella… but here’s where you get to be creative!!)
Put it Together:
- Place a pizza stone or round pizza pan in the oven. Preheat oven to 450F. Cover a large cutting board with a piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil.
- Wash and dry the cauliflower. Cut off the florets into chunks, and pulse them in a food processor for about 30-45 seconds, until you get rice-like cauliflower pellets. You should end up with about 3 cups cauliflower rice. Place the cauliflower rice in a microwavable bowl and cook, covered, for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool for a bit (you’re going to be handling the cauliflower with your bare hands, so seriously! Wait for a good 10 minutes!!)
- Once cooled, wrap the cauliflower in the dish towel and wring it like crazy. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This helps you get a more chewy-less crumbly-and-soggy crust.
- Transfer the cauliflower into a bowl. Add cheeses, kosher salt, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, a dash of red pepper flakes, and the egg. Mix with a fork until incorporated.
- Use your hands and a fork to form the dough into a crust on your oiled parchment paper. Pat it down and spread the ‘dough’ out, without making it too thick or thin.
- Using a cutting board, slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone/pan in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.
- Add sauce, toppings of your choice, and cheese. Stick the pizza back in the oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden.
- Let the pizza set for 5 minutes before cutting into it and serving. Enjoy!!