After being diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2011, I didn’t eat pizza for years. I did discover a fantastic gluten-free pasta (Ancient Harvest, for those of you who haven’t stumbled upon this little gem), but most of the pizzas I tried tasted like cardboard, going crazy on the cheese to compensate for the inedibility of the crust.
Those days are over, thanks to the miraculous invention of a five-ingredient cauliflower pizza crust.
Made with a base of cauliflower, goat cheese and egg, the pizza is properly combined so you won’t feel gross after eating it (more on food combining to come). It’s a bit of a process to prepare, so I suggest doubling the recipe and freezing one of the crusts for later.
The pizza crust is based on a recipe by Detoxinista, and you will need these ingredients (plus your favorite toppings):
4 cups raw or frozen cauliflower florets
1/3 cup soft goat cheese (chèvre)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1. After you preheat the oven to 400 degrees, pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor (it’ll take a few batches).
I’ve found that it’s WAY easier to use frozen cauliflower that is already chopped into florets, since it saves you a step (just let the cauliflower thaw a bit before tossing in the food processor). It usually says on the bag how much is in it, too, which removes the measuring step. Score.
Once all your cauliflower is pulsed, the final product should look like grainy mashed potatoes.
2. Bring a pot to boil with about an inch of water (you don’t need too much here, just enough to cover the cauliflower). Then add the pulsed cauliflower and put a lid on the pot, letting it cook for four minutes.
3. When you take the lid off the pot, it’s going to be hot as hell. You can wait for a minute to let it cool off, but then you need to pour the gelatinous mess into a nut milk bag and strain ALL the excess water out of it. If you don’t have a nut milk bag, you can use a thin dishtowel instead, putting the concoction in the middle and holding the edges to make it an improvised bag (photos here).
Once you’ve transferred the cauliflower concoction, run cold water over it to make sure you don’t burn your hands in the next step.
You are going to squeeze every last droplet of moisture from that concoction. You will be stunned by how much water the cauliflower contains. I’ve done it alone a number of times, but if there’s another pair of hands, you can take turns squeezing the water out of it.
4. Yay! The tricky part is over. Put your dough in a large bowl and mix in the beaten egg, goat cheese, garlic powder, and oregano. A pinch of salt is good here, too. Use a fork to make sure it’s mixed together well with no lumps.
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and put your dough on it. Shape it into a big square or rectangle — whatever shape you prefer — keeping the crust about 1/3 of an inch thick. It’s tempting to make it thicker, but it really tastes better when it’s thin.
6. Pop it in the oven for 35-40 mins, or until it becomes golden brown. While it’s cooking, you can do any necessary prep for your toppings. You can do anything you want, but a combination of tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms and prosciutto is heavenly — especially if you get fancy and put a little truffle oil on it.
7. Take out your pizza crust at the 35-40 minute stage and put on your toppings.
8. Put it back in for 5-10 minutes to let the cheese melt and voila! You are done. Take it out and serve immediately.
It’s definitely not a meal to whip up after a long day of work. It takes some prep time, so when I make it, I like to think of it as our activity for the night. If you’re of age, you can open a bottle of wine and have fun with it. The reward — a decadent, delicious and healthy pizza is definitely worth it!
Let me know if you have any questions!