Have you ever run across a recipe that seemed too good to be true? That happened to me recently when I picked up a copy of Martin’s Foods’ Healthy Ideas Magazine at the checkout. Inside I found a recipe for Cauliflower Pizza Dough. One of my family favorites is homemade pizza, but now that LDB and I are empty nesting, we are on a half-hearted quest to reduce unnecessary calories. Wondering if I had a decent substitute for my regular dough I thought, this is so bizarre sounding I have to try it once.
LDB was skeptical, recalling a faux crab cake lDd and I made once at the beach. It called for Old Bay-disguised zucchini, which truly was a poor imposter for the real thing. His disappointment from the deceptive crab cake had faded over the years, so he gamely said he’d try the faux pizza dough.
The essence of the dough (full recipe shown at end of post) is to finely chop a head of raw cauliflower, then microwave it on high for 4 to 5 minutes. Wrap the chopped veggie in a clean and dry kitchen towel, and let it cool on the counter. Once cool, you wring out the excess water then mix it with egg, parmesan cheese and seasonings. Roll the dough out on a piece of parchment
and bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Add toppings and return to oven for 5 to 6 minutes.
When I called lDd to say I might be having a repeat of our failed crab cake, she had actually heard of using cauliflower as dough. She suggested using a springform pan to contain the pizza also, so I made another batch of dough and ran it through my test kitchen.
The result was a lighter, yet just as satisfying, pizza.
traditional red sauce pizza (left) and pesto and parmesan pizza (right)
The toppings I used on the traditional pizza were
- Paul Newman’s Marinara Sauce
- Shredded mozzarella cheese (about one cup)
For the pesto and parmesan pizza, the only additional topping I added was sliced mushrooms.
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup red sauce
- 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
- 2/3 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons sliced fresh basil
- 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- 1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove stem and leaves from cauliflower and cut into florets, removing additional stems. Add cut florets to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbles form.
- 2. Transfer cauliflower to a microwave-safe dish and cook in microwave on high for 4–5 minutes. Transfer to a dish towel and allow to cool. Once cooled, ring out as much liquid as possible.
- 3. In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower with egg, spices and Parmesan cheese, mixing until well combined and a dough-like consistency. Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and press out cauliflower dough to form an 8-inch crust.
- 4. Transfer parchment paper and crust to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and slightly browned.
- 5. Remove from oven, top with sauce, and other toppings of choice. Return to oven and allow to cook 5 additional minutes or until cheese has melted and other toppings have softened.
- If you want to use a red sauce with heavier toppings, try a springform pan for the pizza. The dough will need to cook for 11 minutes to get crispier, and the pizza will need a few extra minutes of cooking time.
September 12, 2014