From time to time, a cooking concept stirs up the culinary world with excitement. The same hype that popularized cake pops, gourmet food trucks, and mason jar salads propels the legend of the cauliflower pizza crust. It can’t be true: A low carb pizza crust?! Grain free?! Made from a vegetable?!
The same segment of the population who jumped up and down in excitement at this too-good-to-be-true idea in turn stomped their feet in frustration at failed attempts to produce this miracle treat. Eww, it’s mushy! It crumbles into a big mess! It tastes like cauliflower!
Behold, a few simple tips can turn the myth of Cauliflower Pizza Crust into a reality, a concept completely worthy of all the hype! The ingredients are simple, but success lies within the process. While Zoolander taught the world that “moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty,” in cauliflower pizza crust making, moisture is the essence of failure. The tips below are all around helping minimize the moisture so you end up with the firm, delicious, pick-up-able slice of pizza you want!
1 large head of cauliflower, rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup ground parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Pulse raw chopped cauliflower in a food processor until finely ground.
3. In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, sauté your ground cauliflower with cooking spray only; Olive oil may add too much liquid to the mix (tip!). Sauté for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and parts become a little toasted from the pan.
4. Put hot cauliflower in a bowl and place in the freezer, uncovered, to cool (tip!). This not only helps minimize moisture, but brings the temperature down so the eggs don’t cook when mixed in. To speed up the cool down process, stir every 3-4 minutes (tip!). It should be cooled down after about 12-15 minutes. You can use this time to chop toppings!
5. Once cooled, add 2 beaten eggs, parmesan cheese, shake in some Italian herbs, a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined.
6. Cover baking stone or pan with parchment paper (tip!), spoon out the mixture onto paper, and pat it into the desired shape (it should be about ½ inch thick).
7. Bake until it begins to firm and become golden (around 20 minutes). The high temperature of the oven helps bake away more of the moisture without burning the cauliflower (tip!)
8. Remove your crust. Do a test to see if it has crisped up on the bottom by using a spatula to lift part of the edge up. If you want it crispier, put it in for a few minutes longer. Keep in mind, it will bake with toppings, and continue baking the few minutes it rests
9. Top your crust with choice of sauce (tip! If using tomato, the thicker the better! Remember, moisture is the cauliflower crust enemy! Pesto, olive oil, or thick alfredo sauce work well!), cheese, and toppings.
10. Bake until cheese is melted and golden (about 8-10 minutes).
11. Once finished baking, allow the pizza to rest for about 5 minutes to firm up even more (tip!)
Enjoy the heck out of that low carb, handheld, miracle!