What About Cauliflower – Let Me Finish – Pizza Crust?
We try to live our lives in a blissful if mendacious ignorance of some obvious facts, such as that Tupac faked his own death, bleached his skin and hair, and lives on as Eminem. Or that John McCain is clearly a Muslim fundamentalist from Kenya (people always tend to project their problems on others; it’s so obvious in retrospect).
The worst truth we hide from ourselves? Pizza is bad for you. Not just run of the mill, “Crunchy peanut butter contains mouse bones” bad for you, either. We are talking, “Smoking one cigarette a minute” bad for you. It’s dough slathered in oily sauce topped with sufficient cheese to lure enough mice to produce a thousand jars of crunchy peanut butter. Then, all of THAT is topped with parts of the pig even the farmer wouldn’t fuck (as the saying goes).
Enter: Cauliflower. Known as the brain of the animal kingdom in under-funded inner city schools across the nation, cauliflower helps pizza become a whole lot lighter when it’s repurposed into a crust. This crust is unbelievably bread-like, it tastes great, it holds up to toppings, and frankly, if you don’t try this recipe, don’t bother showing your un-American face at my family’s secret cottage in rural Michigan this 4th of July (you are welcome next year, though).
The trick to successful completion of this recipe is putting enough muscle into squeezing as much moisture as humanly possible out of the decimated cauliflower. At least 3 or 4 minutes of pressing should do it.
In honor of this recipe, which would be very Atkins friendly, here are the top five Arrested Development quotes about this horrible, idiotic, fad diet that only morons would try (which I quit after a month). If you aren’t aware, Atkins was (is?) an insane carb-free lifestyle which allows steak topped with gorgonzola butter but doesn’t allow baked potatoes.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Eight ounces fresh cauliflower, or, if you can’t find cauliflower, one noose, because let’s face it, you are shopping for a nice recipe at 7-11 and it’s time to call it quits.
- One thing of roasted garlic (recipe in captions below).
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- Optional, for a more rye-bread like crust: 2 tsp. ground caraway seeds
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- One egg (yes, I am aware of the irony given my last post)
- Desired pizza toppings. I made two crusts. One, I topped with a mild shaved parmesan, roasted red table grapes sliced in half and soaked in black cherry balsamic, blue cheese, and caramelized onions. The other, I topped with fresh almond garlic pesto, roasted garlic, and goat cheese.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In an ideally fancy and overpriced food processor, load up your cauliflower and pulse it into a fine, rice like grain. Pictured above: way more cauliflower than you need to use.
Bring 3 tbsp. water to a boil. Dump the cauliflower grains into the water, turn off heat, cover, and let sit for ten minutes.
When it’s ready, pour the granules of decimated cauliflower into a (clean) towel. Squeeze, press, punch, and take out at least a few years of misdirected aggression about how much you hate your job on the toweled-up granules, until no more water is leaking out of the towel.
Take the rest of the ingredients other than the toppings and mix together with the pressed cauliflower grains. Mix good. Or well, depending on your level of Grammar Nazism. Myself, I’m a Grammar Jew. The exact opposite of a Grammar Nazi. So, I mix good.
Spoon out your mixture onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. Try to get it about half an inch thick if possible. Throw into your preheated 400 degree oven and enjoy 30-40 minutes of leisure – nothing too lascivious, I should think.
You can whip up some delicious pesto with my secret recipe (I hope you didn’t click that. It’s not a link. It’s a secret. Secrets are also traditionally posted in blue font).
Or, you can photograph your roommate breaking all sorts of health codes even for home cooking.
When the crust is nice and brown and looks solid enough to hold (but committmentphobic enough to let go), take it out and let it cool for a minute. Put it on a new parchment covered baking sheet and top as desired. Meanwhile, pump that oven temperature up to 450 degrees. Pop the pizza(s) in and bake for 6-10 minutes, just enough to cook the toppings.
Oh. My. Goodness. Those look incredible. Good enough to eat and [UNAPPETIZING LANGUAGE REDATED] and flush away forever, which I did this morning.
Yum. Healthy and delicious, and the crust is surprisingly and satisfyingly bread like:
Wu-Tang is the CD that I travel with.