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 it’s 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.
- Florets from 1 small head of cauliflower, yielding 2 cups ground “riced” cauliflower
- 3 eggs (not including the eggs I used as a topping)
- ¾ cup almond flour, or more if needed
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder (optional)
- ½ 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 baking (optional)
- Whatever pizza toppings you like! I used fresh mozzarella, eggs, dollops of kale pesto, roasted tomatoes, basil, and red pepper flakes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Make sure your cauliflower is dry before you start. The wetter it is, the harder it will be to work with. Chop the 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 the 3 eggs and mix with the cauliflower, almond flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast, if using, and pinches of salt and pepper. Form dough 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 ¼ inch thick.
- Brush the top with a little garlic oil or 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, until the cheese starts to bubble. Carefully crack eggs directly on top of the pizza so they don't slide off and broil for 2 more minutes or until the egg is sufficiently cooked (oven times may vary).
- Remove from the oven and add spoonfuls of pesto, roasted tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes.