Cauliflower pizza

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So another way of doing pizza!

The cauliflower is an extraordinarily versatile vegetable.  For too many years I only ever thought about it as cauliflower cheese.  But since I’ve been low carbing, I’ve discovered just how many different dishes it can be used in.  I have to confess, though, that when I first heard that you could make pizza out of cauliflower, I really wasn’t convinced!  Eventually, though, I gave it a try. And even though it wasn’t perfect the first time, I could really see the potential.

Making pizza out of cauliflower is more time-consuming that just ordering out, or buying a ready-made one.  But if you’re a committed low carber, and you want pizza, it’s not half bad!

Here’s what you do:

Ingredients for the base

One cauliflower
One ball of mozzarella
50g Parmesan
One egg

Here’s how to make it.

Step one:

– Cut the leaves off the cauliflower, and then cut it into florets
– In a food processor, blitz the florets until they’re the consistency of couscous
– Tip this into a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave on high for 8 minutes
– Set aside and let it cool
– Whilst it’s cooling, grate the cheeses

Step two:

– When it’s cooled, tip the cauliflower onto a clean tea towel or muslin, pull all the corners together, twist and then squeeze so that you’re getting all the moisture out of the cauliflower.  It will release a surprising amount of liquid!  Keep going until you’ve got as much moisture out as you can
– Put the cauliflower into a large bowl, add the grated cheeses and the egg.  Season with black pepper.  Mix together with your hands and press it together into a ball

Step three:

If you have a pizza stone, this is good to use.  Otherwise, a heavy baking tray is fine.  (Non-stick is preferable)  Put the oven on, at around 200 (fan)

– Tip the cauliflower mixture on to the stone/tray, and using your fingers, press it out into a round, as evenly as possible
– Bake it in the oven for around 10-15 minutes until it’s browned.  You’re aiming to cook it, but also dry it out.
– After this time, if you can, turn it over so that you can also cook the other side.  If it’s stuck a bit, turn the oven off, but put the base back in for another 10-15 minutes.  You’re aiming to dry it out rather than cook it much more.

It should look like this:

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Then you’re ready to add your toppings.

This is what I did:

Tomato sauce

One carton of chopped tomatoes (I used Sainsbury’s Basics)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt/black pepper
2 cloves of garlic

How to make it:

– In a medium sized saucepan, heat the olive oil
– Add the tomatoes, and bring to the boil
– Season with the salt and pepper
– Simmer until reduced and thickened (takes about 10 minutes)
– Add the garlic, finely chopped, or crushed in a garlic press

Allow this to cool before you top the cauliflower base.

What you then add to the pizza is up to you.  I used:

– two shallots, finely sliced
– one red chilli, sliced
– pepperoni
– black olives
– slices of mozzarella (one ball)
– a good shake of dried oregano

It looked like this before it went in the oven:

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Bake for around 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the shallots are sufficiently cooked.

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Before serving, garnish with some leaves of fresh basil.

And enjoy!

Hopefully it is dry/cooked enough for you to be able to pick up a slice; but if it’s a bit soggy in the middle, don’t worry.  It still tastes like pizza, and it’s really satisfying!

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