Cauliflower Pizza Crust

After the smashing success of Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust, I have been fascinated with taking my favorite unhealthy dishes and sneakily making them good for me.  I've been obsessed with spaghetti squash since first trying it, and after a friend had me try her own cauliflower pizza, I had to try out the very popular vegetable crust on my own.


Since I hadn't made this type of crust before, I got some help for how long to cook the cauliflower.  For the cooking process, I used a really helpful recipe.

One of the big differences between this recipe and the spaghetti squash variety (other than the fact these are two totally different vegetables, that is) is that with spaghetti squash, you have to roast it first.  This takes about 45 minutes in the oven.  I have yet to try microwaving a spaghetti squash to cook it, but from what I have read it still takes at least 10-12 minutes.  Cauliflower, on the other hand, microwaves in about 5 minutes.

For this, I started with raw cauliflower.  I grabbed a rather sizable one, as the grocery had some deal going on where they were the same price no matter the volume.


I peeled the leaves off the cauliflower first, then chopped the florets and rinsed them thoroughly.


Next, I used my blender to chop the cauliflower into very fine pieces, about the size of a grain of sand.


The results looked a bit like snow.  I then covered the cauliflower with plastic wrap and microwaved it for 5 minutes.


Then it was time for the crust!  Here's where it got a lot like the spaghetti squash crust recipe.  I mixed in an egg, shredded cheese, about 2 teaspoons of cornmeal, oregano, parsley, marjoram, and crushed red pepper then mixed it to combine.  I sprinkle some cornmeal on a parchment-lined baking sheet to add some texture after getting a tip from my friend about her own version.  Then, I placed the crust mixture on the baking pan and spread it thin.  I popped it in the oven and let it bake for a bit over 10 minutes to get it good and solid.


Next, I added the toppings.  For this part you can use just plain tomato sauce and cheese, or add whatever toppings you'd like.  I used a basic tomato sauce and sprinkled on some fresh oregano, added spinach leaves, then added layer of cheese and some turkey pepperoni.  Yum!


Another great veggie alternative to an otherwise unhealthy meal!  I love myself some Papa Johns every now and again, but I freak out every time I glance at the nutrition facts.  With this, you are still getting the cheese and sauce, but it's all piled on a lean, healthy vegetable. I think this works so great for pizza because marinara sauce has a strong flavor tat matches the cauliflower well.  My favorite part about this recipe was the ease--in just a few steps the crust was ready for topping and baking.  I have to say, I'm hooked!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe

Ingredients:

1 medium cauliflower
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup mixed Italian cheeses
1 egg
1 can tomato sauce (6 ounces)

Instructions:

Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut florets off cauliflower.  Add to food processor and pulse until finely chopped, with the consistency of sand. Microwave for 5 minutes.  Strain through cheese cloth once cool enough to handle.  Add to a large bowl. Mix in egg, minced garlic, oregano, parsley, marjoram, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, and the corn meal until well combined.  Line a round baking sheet with parchment paper.  Form cauliflower mixture into a crust shape and bake for 12-15 minutes, until crust is firm and browned slightly.  Remove from oven and add sauce, remaining cheese, and any desired toppings.  Bake for 10-15 more minutes, until cheese is melted.

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