Have you heard of cauliflower crust pizza? Iâ€™m sure you have! They get quite popular on blogs and social media networks every now and then. And Iâ€™m so glad for it, as itâ€™s such a great way of swapping a floury dough for more veg!
Iâ€™m not the biggest fan of cauliflowers. Much as I liked mumâ€™s version of cooked cauliflower with buttered bread crumbs, and recently fell in love with my friendâ€™s raw cauliflower salad (oh, I certainly need to make a blog post with it, soon!) there isnâ€™t an endless list of ideas in my head for the cauliflower. Yet. Perhaps I need to explore it more and find more ways of making this winter vegetable appear more often on our table. Watch this space!
For today, weâ€™ve got our cauliflower crust pizza. Donâ€™t expect it to be like a traditional pizza. Itâ€™s different. Itâ€™s better, if you ask me. No yeast, no gluten, just healthy veg. You can cut it into slices and theyâ€™ll hold well in your hand. And you can have fun and experiment with various toppings too.
For the cauliflower base:
1 cauliflower (about 750g)
100g ground almonds
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1 tsp salt
For the tomato sauce:
3 tbsp tomato purÃ©e
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed
Freshly ground pepper
For the topping:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small aubergine, thinly sliced lengthways into long strips
1 small courgette, thinly sliced lengthways into long strips
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
0.5 red pepper, cut into slices
0.5 yellow pepper, cut into slices
1 red chili, sliced
A few fresh basil leaves
Vegetable oil for greasing
Preheat oven to 200C/ gas mark 6.
Cut the cauliflower roughly into large pieces. Place in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
Heat a large frying pan (donâ€™t add any oil), tip the chopped cauliflower onto the pan and dry-fry it for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, so that the cauliflower softens and some of the moisture evaporates.
Transfer the warm cauliflower onto a clean tea towel. With your hands, squeeze the tea towel and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the cauliflower, then transfer back to a bowl. Add the ground almonds, eggs, dried herbs and season to taste with salt.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment and grease with oil. Place the cauliflower mix in the centre of the tray, then use a spoon and your hands to spread out into a 30cm round pizza base. Bake for 15-18 minutes in a preheated oven until golden brown and starting to crisp a little at the edges.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan, brush each aubergine slice and courgette slice on both sides with a little of the olive oil, and cook for 5-6 mins, turning once, until softened and slightly charred. Transfer to a plate and cook the remaining slices – youâ€™ll need to do this in batches.
Griddle the onion wedges and pepper slices for 2-3 minutes.
To make the tomato sauce, in a small bowl mix the tomato purÃ©e, garlic and the oregano, adding a little water.
Once the cauliflower base is cooked, spread the tomato sauce over the base.
Arrange the vegetables on the top and bake for another 10-12 minutes.
Take out from the oven and cut into slices, using a pizza cutter.