Current status: high-diving into this cheesy pile of veggies.
As much as I try to eat healthily I always get pulled astray by the mighty mighty ‘za. The magical, powerful force of pizza is so enchanting that I physically cannot resist. Since it’s probably not the best idea to eat it every time I crave it, sometimes I have to settle for substitutes – enter: cauliflower crust. Crispy, seasoned and a wee bit cheesy (something we have in common tbh), the cauli crust can truly be cherished for its dough-like properties. Now don’t get me wrong… this is not going to replace your NY-style by any means. It will definitely be doughy, but you might have to bust out the fork and knife (the horror, I know) but your tastebuds will still be dancing the night away.
The key here is to squeeze every single last drop of moisture out of the cauliflower that you can… and then squeeze it again. The less moisture you have, the crispier your crust. Less moisture=less mush. Pre-baking your crust also helps to crisp it up and a thin layer of whipped ricotta will keep it from getting soggy as well. Once you have the crust down, you can swap out your sauce and toppings to make this your own. Have fun!
… andddd the pizza cravings return.
SPRING VEGGIE WHITE PIZZA WITH CAULIFLOWER CRUST
makes 10-12″ pizza
- 3/4 cup ricotta, whipped with hand mixer or food processor
- 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella
- 3/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, ends removed and sliced on the diagonal
- 1 leek, white part only, cleaned and sliced thinly
- cauliflower crust (homemade recipe below)
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 3/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. each of salt, pepper + red pepper flakes
if making cauliflower crust from scratch:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a baking sheet inside while it preheats. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until you have a rice texture. Place the rice into a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 5 minutes. Once cooked, spread out on clean kitchen towel and let cool. Wrap into towel and squeeze out all the water you can, take a break and then squeeze it again. The drier the better!
Place dry cauliflower into large bowl and combine with eggs, shredded mozzarella, and all seasonings. Combine with hands into ball. Place large piece of parchment paper down and press out dough to form a pizza crust (make sure you keep in mind the size & shape of your baking sheet – this will transfer onto it!). I found a 1/4″ thick crust worked best to stay together & be crispy. Remove (hot) baking pan from oven and carefully place parchment paper and crust onto sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Once crust has cooked, carefully remove parchment paper and crust from oven, leaving hot baking pan in while you top the pizza.
Top crust with whipped ricotta, spreading thinly, then 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, followed by chopped veggies. Top with remaining cheese and carefully transfer back onto hot baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly!