What this recipe is not:
- A tool for teaching an ESL student the culinary significance and the translation of the word “pizza.” It is not that.
- A pizza to offer to someone who is *legitimately gluten free but who has tasted pizza at its most glutinous, doughiest, finest. It is not that. (*legitimately gluten free, not one of those, “oh, I”m off the gluten now” types who clearly still has muffin crumbs on his or her lips from breakfast. You can offer this as pizza to them).
- A new contender to go into the ring with Chicago and New York. It is not that.
What this recipe is:
- An interesting way to eat more cauliflower. It is that.
- Practically a corn-free polenta. It is that.
- A recipe you can make on a weeknight and feel really proud of the effort you invested in your dinnertime. It is that.
- Good. It is really good. But it’s hardly a pizza.
- A vehicle for bacon. It is that. Unless you’re gluten free and vegan. Then, don’t even get me started.
So if you’re still on board with this cauliflower [non]pizza, proceed. The recipe awaits!
Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Bacon, Mushrooms and Kale
About This Recipe: Though closer in consistency to a thicker polenta, this cauliflower “crust” is a good way to eat your favorite pizza toppings while eating more cauliflower. It’s gluten free, so it’s a safe bet for feeding a crowd. By changing the slice size or shape, you could alter this to be a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
1 large head of cauliflower, rinsed and drained
1 egg (organic/cage-free)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup goat cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
sautéed mushrooms (local/seasonal )
baked or pan-fried bacon (thick cut, recommended: Black Forest)
melted butter or a high-heat oil for brushing crust
Preheat oven to 400℉.
Grate cauliflower with a box grater, or pulse in a food processor to create about 3 cups of cauliflower crumbles that resemble a fine, rice-like texture.
Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the cauliflower crumbles evenly over the parchment. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally to prevent burning, until lightly golden and tender. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly.
Place cauliflower in the middle of a clean thin cotton dish towel or two layers of cheesecloth. Wrap the cauliflower in the towel and twist to squeeze out any excess liquid (this is a critical step to ensure a crust that is chewy, somewhat crisp and not soggy).
Place the cauliflower in a mixing bowl. Add egg, cheeses and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.
Line a pizza pan or other baking pan with parchment paper. Brush with a high heat oil, such as avocado or melted butter. Firmly pat the cauliflower mixture onto the pan so it forms a tight, ¼” thick crust in the shape you desire.
Place in the oven, and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and add desired toppings to taste. Return to the hot oven for an additional 5-8 minutes until the toppings are hot and cheese has reached desired consistency.
Let pizza sit for 2-5 minutes before slicing.