When in Italy last year visiting dad’s home town of Quintodecimo and using it as a home base, our usual daily routine consisted of: Wake up, jump in the car, drive to an ancient walled town, visit the local church, have a pizza or pasta in town, eat a gelato, drive home, cook a meal with fresh produce form our uncle’s garden, sleep and repeat. It was a wonderful way to experience Italy and while at the end we were craving salad, the endless supply of pizza was heavenly.
Like any other self respecting Italian, I am a lover of pizza and pasta, and really do wish that I could eat it every day. So, when the cauliflower pizza base starting making rounds on the internet, instead of sticking my nose in the air in defense of “traditional” pizzas… I embraced the idea of a non-carb gluten free version and made my own cauliflower pizza base.
In fact, I loved it so much that cauliflower pizza bases are now a weekly occasion in our household. It means that I get to eat pizza more often without feeling guilty.
The premise is simple, whizz up raw cauliflower in a blender to make rice/quinoa sized pellets, boil it in water till tender, squeeze all the excess water out in a cloth, mix with an egg and some other ingredients to add flavour, then spread on a pizza tray and bake till golden (see below).
The resulting base is surprisingly tasty. Thin and crisp on the edges like a flour based dough, yet light and satisfying without leaving you in a pizza coma.
We top ours with many different indgredients, with our favourite two pizzas being: 1. pesto, ham, mushroom and parmesan; and 2. tomato sauce, sundried tomato bocconcini and basil.
Cauliflower Pizza Base
- 1 whole cauliflower, leaver removed and florets separated
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (or other hard cheese)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped continental parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 200° Celcius.
Place raw cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse till they are the size of rice grains (you may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your processor).
Bring 1/2 medium sized pot of water to the boil, then add the cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes covered. Drain the cauliflower in a strainer, then transfer to a cloth and squeeze out the excess water. You want the cauliflower to be as dry as possible.
Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl. Add egg, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper and mix very well.
Line two pizza trays (32cm) with parchment paper then divide the mixture in two and place on the prepared pizza trays. Using your hands, press the mixture out on the baking trays evenly until it almost reaches the edge of the trays. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the base is golden in colour.
Remove from oven and top with your favourite ingredients and cheese, then bake again for 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted.