Pinterest is abound with a variety of recipes using cauliflower for pizza crust, garlic bread base, bread sticks, wraps, the list goes on. I’ve tried a few of the recipes before, and though they tasted decent, they weren’t good enough to warrant the mess that came with creating them. No matter how long I baked them or at what temperature, they were still always soggy in the centre. I decided to give it one last go since being on a bit of a cauliflower kick (see Cauliflower Conundrum, Part One), and I am SO glad that I did. Jay is almost always open to the foods that I make, but he was so resistant to this one after being a guinea pig for the other cauliflower crusts, that he asked me to make him regular pizza instead of this one. It was only AFTER they came out of the oven that his tune changed… “maybe I’ll just taste one…”
The secret to a successful cauliflower crust, I think, is not to make it very large. It takes longer to cook, and by the time the centre has reached the consistency it’s supposed to be, the edges are charred. For these caprese pizzas, I kept each crust to just larger than the size of a slice of tomato. In order to keep them from falling apart, I was very careful to slowly push the balls into patties, being sure to go around the edges with the side of a fork to push the edges together to prevent cracking. The result was DELICIOUS!!
As with most recipes, these were better straight out of the oven, however since I’m a big proponent of leftovers for the next lunch, I thought I would try them and hope for the best. Warmed in a toaster oven, these did not get soggy and were still totally acceptable on day 2. To make them even better the next day, next time I wouldn’t dress the patties (which are baked separately before adding toppings) until I’m ready to eat them.
Cauliflower Caprese Pizzas
Makes 8-9 mini pizzas
FOR THE CRUST
1/2 large cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1-2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
FOR THE TOPPINGS
3/4 cup marinara sauce (pesto would also be really good!)
1 large red heirloom tomato
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into slices
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
fresh basil leaves to garnish
- Preheat oven to 450. Using a grater or a food processor, shred cauliflower until finely grated. Reserve 3 cups for crust in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for about 8 minutes, and let cool for 10 minutes before moving on.
- Once cauliflower is cooled, combine it with the remaining crust ingredients. On a parchment lined baking sheet lightly sprayed with oil, form cauliflower mixture into balls (it should make 8 or 9).
- Using a fork, carefully press balls into thin rounds, making sure that edges remain intact. Bake in oven about 15 minutes, until edges are browned.
- Remove from oven and set the oven to broil. Top each crust with a heaping tablespoon of marinara sauce, then a slice of fresh mozzarella, a slice of tomato, about a tablespoon (or less) of mozzarella, and some italiano seasoning.
- Return to oven, and broil for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from oven, top with basil leaves, and serve!