Let me begin by admitting that I’m a pizza snob. I don’t believe in pizza chains and I’m not a fan of pizza that tastes too doughy. I do enjoy frequenting mom-and-pop pizza places because, frankly, they have better pizza. I’ve also been to Naples and had what may or may not have been a religious experience while savoring some tasty slices.
So, I will be the first to say that I was hesitant about replacing the glory of standard pizza crust with a cauliflower base.
Makes two pizzas
6 cups cauliflower (1 large head)
½ cup mozzarella
1 cup grated parmesan
½ teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon garlic
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
Chop the cauliflower into florets before cutting it into small, rice-sized pieces in a food processor (or buy it pre-riced at the store). Once the cauliflower is chopped up, place it in a dish towel and squeeze the excess moisture from the vegetable. Throw the cauliflower on a baking sheet and roast it in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to remove any remaining moisture. While the cauliflower is roasting, blend the tomato, garlic and a pinch of salt together to make the pizza sauce. After the cauliflower is done roasting, let it cool for a few minutes before adding it to a bowl with the mozzarella, parmesan, chili flakes, oregano and egg. Stir the mixture until it is well blended. Place half the mixture on a piece of parchment paper and form a 10-inch circle. Bake the mixture at 425 degrees until the crust is golden brown. Repeat with the other half of the mixture. Once the crust is done add half of the sauce, leaving an inch of bare crust, and place the fresh mozzarella over it. Bake until the cheese begins to bubble. Garnish with basil and serve.
Note: Moisture is the enemy of this recipe; if you don’t properly dry out the cauliflower, you’ll have a very soggy pizza. As the sauce and fresh mozzarella add plenty of extra moisture to the pizza, do not worry about overdrying the cauliflower.