Thursday, 2 May 2013

Cauliflower crust pizza

Pizza pre-cooking.

I am a big fan of the cauliflower. Roasted, puréed, in curries, covered in cheese sauce- it's basically very hard to go wrong. The one area I was very sceptical about however, was the cauliflower crust pizza. Much beloved of the low-carb movement, I just couldn't see how it this could possible work. I was imagining, at best, a sort of thin cauliflower cheese with added tomato sauce. And at worst, well something worse than that.

However when I spotted this recipe listed on the Guardian site a few weeks ago, it all sounded rather promising. And even more so when I saw the original blog post the recipe came from with its lovely photography.

Pizza post-cooking.

I followed all the steps required for cooking the cauliflower (using a food processor makes grating it a doddle but it's probably still feasible by hand), but did allow it to cool a bit before shaping into the bases. And the only minor substitution to the recipe was using a regular Philadelphia-style cream cheese rather than a goat's cheese. I was convinced at every stage that the mini-bases would fall apart, but they didn't at all. I let them fully cool while making a tomato sauce, and once this was done the bases were topped with a selection of cooked mushrooms, anchovies, red onion, and mozzarella or cheddar. They then went back in the oven until the cheese was golden and melted.

I was fully expecting the transfer from baking sheet to plate to result in pizza disintegration, but they even held up to being poked and prodded with a fish slice. The final pizza could be easily cut into segments, and tasted damn good (perhaps even more so as I did not have high expectations). This is not something you are going to mix up with a proper, thin-crust Italian pizza, but as the cauliflower base is very neutral the main flavours that come through are all the pizza toppings. And what's not to like about tomato sauce and melted cheese? So if you're looking for a slightly lighter pizza option, a gluten-free version, or just something a bit different, I would thoroughly recommend this recipe (which coincidently also reinforces my views on the usefulness of food blogs).

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