In an odd set of circumstances, I was once in a hospital waiting room in Rome talking to an Italian guy and the topic of Chicago (where I’m from) came up. We had a long debate about Chicago pizza and he left me with this quote – “Well it’s not pizza, but its good.”
Not that this recipe has anything to do with deep-dish pizza – there’s no butter crust, no sausage, no brick of cheese. This “pizza”, made out of ground cauliflower and almonds, is healthy, light and gluten-free. I couldn’t wait to give this a try but I had no clue what to expect – whether it would fall apart… taste like mush…
We were pleasantly surprised that the end the result was super delicious. Our conclusion? “Well, it’s not pizza, but it’s good.”
This is not a replacement for crispy doughy crust when that’s what you’re in the mood for… I can’t turn water into wine or cauliflower into all-purpose flour, but this is a fun alternative that’s on the lighter side.
makes approx. two 8-inch pizza crusts
Florets from 1 small head of cauliflower, yielding 2 cups ground “riced” cauliflower
3/4 cup almond flour (or more if needed)
3 eggs (not including the eggs I used as a topping)
pinches of salt
a few grinds of pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or a bit of minced garlic (optional)
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese (optional)
garlic oil – to brush onto dough before you bake it (optional)
whatever pizza toppings you like, I used fresh mozzarella, eggs, dollops of kale pesto, roasted tomatoes, basil, and red pepper flakes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Make sure your cauliflower is dry before you start. The more wet it is, the harder it will be to work with. Chop cauliflower and pulse florets in a food processor. Be careful not to puree it or grind it until it’s mushy. You’re going for a “riced” fluffy consistency. It should not be sticking together at this point.
Whisk 3 eggs and mix all of the rest of the crust ingredients together and form into a ball. It should be pretty wet but if it’s too sticky to handle, add more flour. Gently “knead” it a few times, adding some flour on top if necessary to help it come together. (note – this will NOT resemble regular pizza dough – it won’t be as easy or pliable to work with – that’s ok just do the best you can).
Press “dough” ball down onto a pizza stone or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently mold into a circle, dusting a bit more flour if it makes it easier for you to work with. I was able to lift mine up and flip it over a few times to get it to spread (if yours sticks and you can’t lift it off the pan, it’s still ok – once the eggs bake, things will bind together even if the dough itself is a little messy). Try to spread it about 1/4 inch thick.
Brush the top with a little garlic oil, or just plain olive oil before putting in the oven.
Bake crust by itself for 15 minutes. Add mozzarella on top and bake for an additional 10 or so minutes the cheese starts to bubble. Crack eggs directly on top of the pizza (carefully so the eggs don’t slide off) and bake on the broil setting for 2 more minutes or until the egg is sufficiently cooked (oven times may vary).
Remove from oven and add spoonfuls of pesto, roasted tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes.