I love pizza. When Racked Miami asked me my favorite cheat meal, pizza was the first thing that came to mind. If I really thought about it, I would have said pizza and chocolate chip cookies.
The unfortunate thing about pizza is that I typically feel like shit the morning after I eat it. Like a bad gluten hangover. What usually happens is we will eat pizza late on Friday night after H2om (a late night yoga sesh at the Standard) and then I'll feel gross and bloated through Saturday morning yoga. Ugh.
I've never been super pleased by the alternative dough options. Almond meal was really heavy and rice crust was both just so... blah. I started reading about cauliflower crust. It promised a delightful and light gluten free pizza experience. And then I saw a recipe from Detoxinista with goat cheese in the crust and I was like woah. "Ok, cauliflower." I thought to myself. "I don't like you that much as a vegetable - but let's see how this goes. Maybe your blandness will make for a delicious pizza crust."
The cauliflower cooking is a little bit of a process but it's worth it. While my road rashed thigh is recovering from the Whistler fiasco (I'm still icing a hematoma the size of a grapefruit) I have lots of time to spend in the kitchen so it didn't bother me. The cauliflower squeezing is weird but you'll be rewarded with a delightfully light vehicle for whatever toppings you desire. The crust doesn't have a ton of flavor, so if you prefer a more robust pizza flavor, add more spices to the crust or sprinkle the pizza spice blend on top after cooking.
I made them mini because I think it's cute, but you can do a full size pie. Or square. Or heart shaped. Or without cheese and just toppings since there is already cheese in the crust.
Bonus - I woke up this morning feeling great. I'm also going to make this recipe again this week with some chia and flax in the crust, probably a tablespoon of each. Let me know if you try it!
*I added a tablespoon of chia to the crust and it was awesome - added a nice crunch.
Mini Cauliflower Pizzas
- 1 large head of cauliflower or 2 small heads
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 oz soft goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Pizza sauce (I used San Marzano Sugo Di Pomodoro from Fresh Market)
- Part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
Pizza spice blend for topping (optional):
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 salt
- 1/4 black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F
Create cauliflower 'rice' - chop cauliflower into smaller florets and process in food processor or high speed blender until it looks like legit rice. The resemblance is almost creepy. Go slowly because the rice tends to get bunched at the bottom.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and once boiling, add the cauliflower rice. Cook for 5 minutes.
Drain the cauliflower rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water to cool it off.
It sounds strange but pour cauliflower rice into a large clean dishtowel and squeeze it to remove all moisture. This part is really important! You want it to be as dry as possible so that the crust will hold together. If it's hard to squeeze because it's still hot, put the cauliflower it in the freezer to cool it off for a few minutes
Mix the cauliflower rice, eggs, goat cheese and spices in a bowl. Use your hands for the most efficient blending. The crust will feel weird but as long as you got the moisture out of the cauliflower, it will hold together.
Line a pan with parchment paper and divide the dough to make 10 - 12 adorable little baby pizza crusts.
Bake the crusts for 25 - 30 minutes - until lightly golden. They should be firm and maintain their shape when picked up (and not fall apart)
Remove the crusts from the oven and top them with pizza sauce, mozzarella, chopped baby bellas, kale... the sky is the limit! Place the pizettes back in the oven for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and toppings are cooked. Warning - some veggie toppings (like spinach) can become watery when cooked so you may want to give them a quick sauté beforehand.
Remove the crusts from the oven and serve them with fresh basil and pizza spice blend.