Have you ever played that game where you list the top 5 foods that you would bring to a deserted island? (And yes, you already have water and razors and toilet paper…) I like this game because it shows you how dynamic your tastebuds are and which foods remain a constant favorite. For me, one of these steadfast items has to be pizza. Pizza ranks quite high on my guilty pleasure list, right next to “Everything bagels”, “The Braxton Family Values” and pumpkin spiced lattes.
That being said, I wouldn’t say that I am a pizza connoisseur. In fact, before I turned the Paleo leaf, my go-to pizza was a frozen Digorno Supreme pizza. It was pretty simple, I liked that the crust wasn’t too greasy, it was always hot and the toppings tasted fresh (ish).
Then paleo entered my life and it was all smiles and almond butter for the first couple of weeks, until one Friday around 6 pm. As I walked past the Crazy Dough Pizza shop to my commuter rail station, I found myself walking slower and slower just to get a full inhale of the delicious smells. It was then that I decided there must be an alternative…and so the quest began.
Lets just fast forward through all of the faileo attempts at recreating this masterpiece of a dish.
“But, you have you try this almond flour crust” one blogger would say (fail),
and “The New improved coconut flour pizza crust” (fail),
and “Finally, coconut and almond flour crust that you can really eat with your hands” (fail).
It was after ingesting several of these clumpy, moist pizzas that SB and I gave up and started to make my Portobello pizzas on the regular. Now, if I’m being honest, those are good…but they aren’t pizza. The problem with mushrooms is that they don’t have that sort of crispy base that contrasts the toppings.
So, without further adieu, I present my Hawaiian version of a Cauliflower Pizza Crust. This recipe has been heavily influenced by the version over at Detoxinista. I highly recommend her blog- she is so creative and has answered my prayers to the Pizza Gods with this invention.
Try this recipe, you will not be sorry.
- 1 head of cauliflower (the larger the cauliflower, the larger the crust)
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella, organic
- 1 tbsp dried italian herbs (i’ve tried fresh herbs here (basil, parsley) and they tend to make the mix more wet and lead to a less crispy, but more flavorable end product…so use your preference)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, depending on your spice level
- Lower carb pizza sauce (we use Rao’s but feel free to sub in homemade or just fresh tomatoes or sans nightshades if you prefer)
- Shredded mozzarella, organic (enough to cover the top)
- Canadian bacon (no nitrates), chopped
- Fresh or frozen pineapple, chopped (if frozen, let thaw and the drain to reduce the excess water)
- Other ideas: sausage, peppers, olives, zucchini, prosciutto, etc
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and set aside a pot of water to boil (large enough to accommodate ~4 cups of cauliflower).
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Rinse your cauliflower and chop it into large florets.
- Pulse the cauliflower in your food processor until it’s about the size of rice (you can actually use this as a substitute for rice in stir fry and it is amazing), you may have to do this in several batches if your food processor is not large enough to accommodate.
- Place the cauli-rice into the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
- Pour cooked cauli-rice into a fine strainer, rinse with cool water and allow to sit for a couple minutes.
- Take a large spoon or spatula and press on the cauli-rice to try and expel more water.
- Now, here comes the genius part. Scoop the strained cauli-rice into the middle of a clean cheese cloth (or if you are grubby like me any ole’ tea towel will do- maybe that nice Halloween one your mom sent you with ghosts on it?) gather up the ends of the tea towel and then twist the towel around the cauli mix to squeeze out all remaining liquid.
- Bonus, this really works your biceps.
- Remember, the more liquid you get out, the crispier the crust. This step is also why I also recommend rinsing your cooked cauli with cool water, if not your hands get scalded while twisting.
- Keep twisting until your cauli looks like the pic below, should almost resemble a paste.
- Now you are ready to assemble all of the ingredients into a separate bowl.
- Mix ingredients altogether with hands, making sure everything is fully incorporated.
- Press the mixture into a crust-like shape onto your parchment-lined pan.
- TIP- the thinner the crust, the crispier. Try to make it the crust as smooth as possible so it cooks evenly.
- I would hypothesize this crust is somewhere between a 1/3-1/2 inch wide
- Bake crust at 350ºF for 30-40 minutes, you know it’s done when it starts to brown like this.
- Remove crust from oven and place sauce, cheese and any other toppings.
- Place back in oven for 10-ish minutes to let the cheese melt.
- Can also flip the broiler on HIGH for a few minutes to get make the cheese nice and bubbly.
At this point, you may be thinking to yourself OMG, this is so much work…mult bowls, mult cooking, 1+hour cook time?!!?
- So, to save time, make two batches of the cooked cauli-rice. Drain each and use one immediately and place one in a freezer bag for future enjoyment.
- Last, but not least, enjoy!!!