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Cauliflower. Who Knew?

Cauliflower

To say that I detest cauliflower would be putting it mildly.  In my opinion it ruins every vegetable crudités it accompanies.  The color is not appealing, it has a weird smell, and it gives broccoli a bad name by pretending to emulate it.  So, I must admit, I was skeptical when I read that it could be used as the main ingredient for homemade pizza crust.  After all, given my personal disdain for this vegetable I nearly passed on even attempting to try it.  To my surprise (and my fiancé’s as well) it was downright delicious.   It worked magically and allowed me to enjoy one of my favorite indulgences guilt free.

The most essential tool you need to try this at home is an adequate food processor.   This doesn’t mean you have to rush to Pottery Barn and pick out the most expensive one you lay your eyes on.  Any $40.00 Target food processor will do, and when you’re as cheap as I am, this is important.   Once you have a food processor the rest of the recipe is relatively simple.

Crust:

½ head of cauliflower

¾ Cup almond meal (almond Flower)

1 tsp Oregano for taste

2 cloves Garlic minced

Sea salt and pepper for taste

2 eggs beaten

Pre-heat the oven to 450. Using the food processor, grind the cauliflower until it is fine and then set it aside in a bowl.  Next, take almonds and process them until they exhibit a flowery texture (you can certainly choose to purchase almond meal at the store but I find making the flower yourself gives the crust a nice nutty flavor and crispier texture).  Once you have combined the cauliflower, almonds and spices, poor the beaten eggs over the top and mix together until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.  Then using a large cookie sheet, evenly  spread the “dough” over a piece of parchment paper and cook for 20-25minutes or until the crust is crisp around the edges.

Baked Crust

While the crust is cooking now is your opportunity to play a bit.  You can use normal pizza ingredients as the calories, carbs and fat have already been cut considerably.  But if you’re looking for a bit of adventure and a much healthier alternative, what I’ve tried is below:

Sauce:

Two cups roasted Red Pepper

½ cup sundried tomato

6 fresh basil leaves

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

*Mix all of these ingredients together in the food processor.

Toppings:

3 zucchinis skinned and sliced thin with a potato skinner

2 cups mushrooms chopped and cooked on stove top

2 cups red/green/yellow peppers diced and cooked on stove top

3/4 cup black olives sliced (this isn’t for everyone, but I personally love olives)

3 cups arugula

6 basil leaves shredded

Optional:

¼ cup Parmesan cheese (I know for some of you, abandoning the idea of cheese on a pizza seems blasphemous.  I’ve tried it both with and without and it’s pretty freaking out of this world either way.)

Once the crust is baked to your liking pull from the oven and spread the sauce evenly.  Then add all the toppings with the exception of the Arugula and Basil.  Bake for an additional ten minutes and then add the Arugula and Basil while cooling.  And then, my friends, enjoy the flavor explosion in your mouth because I’m telling you, you will love it!  This recipe feeds four (unless you’re a fatty like my fiancé, then it only feeds two).  Cheers!

--Shad Swinehart


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