I am willing to bet that this will be one of the odder pizza crust recipes that you will come across. I mean, cauliflower? Really? Yup, somehow it works. I don’t make any claims that you will fool anyone into thinking this is a dough based pizza crust but I think it stands on its own merit, and certainly as a unique and delicious twist for those following a gluten-free, lower carbohydrate or paleo diet.
Here I have topped the crust with seasonal wild garlic but I think it would be great with most any topping that isn’t too wet. Next time I think I might go for chopped cooked kale and fresh tomatoes, topped with Cheddar cheese for a funky take on cauliflower cheese. Although I don’t think California Pizza Kitchen will be knocking on my door anytime soon, I hope you like it.
For the Crust
100g natural almonds
1 medium egg
1 tsp fennel seeds, dry toasted for one minute and crushed
½ tsp dried oregano
pinch chilli flakes (optional)
½ – 1 tsp salt (your call)
1 tbsp olive oil
Grind the almonds until they are like rough sand – not as smooth as for ground almonds you buy in a bag. Set aside.
Cut up the cauliflower – including the tender and tasty stems (the sweetest part of the cauliflower) – and steam until crisp-tender; about 8 minutes. Finely mince the cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like mince –very small rough pieces. Squeeze moisture out in a tea towel.
Pop everything into the food processor and briefly whiz together until amalgamated. You now have ‘dough’. To use, press the dough as thinly as you dare onto a baking paper lined tray, making whatever shape you like – freeform-oblong is good for me, and less daunting to form than a square or circle. I first of all scatter medium cornmeal/polenta onto the paper to add some the crunch, but it’s not necessary. Pop this into a 180/350 degree oven oven for 20-25 minutes while you get on with assembling your toppings. Once the crust has firmed up and coloured spread over your toppings and bake at 200/425 for a further 10 minutes, or flash under the grill if the crust is quite thin. Magnifico!
‘Fresh’ Tomato Sauce
1 tin of best quality tomatoes (San Marzano if possible)
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, dry toasted and crushed
2 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves chopped OR 2 tsps dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder OR 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp sweet balsamic vinegar
½ tsp salt (to taste)
Fresh ground pepper
Pulse in a food processor until nicely chunky. Don’t cook this sauce as you want to keep this light and fresh tasting. You will probably only use half of this sauce so put the rest in the freezer, or use in another recipe (Lower-fat Eggplant Parmigiana).
Generous handful of spring onions/scallions – roughly chopped
Two cupped handsful of trimmed, chopped and washed wild garlic (or spinach)
4 cloves garlic, sliced (different taste to the wild garlic)
1 tbsp olive oil
Half a punnet of chestnut mushrooms (or wild if you have them) – about 175g, sliced
Stir fry the above until the wild garlic is wilted and the mushrooms have lost their moisture. You may want to do the mushrooms separately but I tend to start the mushrooms first and then add the rest.
Assembling: Take the firmed up crust out of the oven and spread lightly with the tomato sauce and then lay over the cooked greens and mushrooms. Top with torn pieces of fresh mozzarella (lightly squeeze between some paper towels first) or firm ricotta and scatter over any extra herbs/olives/capers/chilli flakes you like. Pop back in the oven until the crust is very golden/browning and the cheese has melted – about 10 minutes. Serve with a fresh watercress and rocket green salad or some steamed/stir-fried greens.
Inspired by: kelliesfoodtoglow.com