...break out the Gas-x. It's worth it people.
Growing up Thursday nights was always pizza night at our house. But Mondays and Fridays were also pizza day at school. Which is to say, I was eating pizza three days a week growing up. I have no regrets other than the fact that it's no longer a habit my metabolism can support.
Enter: cauliflower crust pizza. I was introduced to this in college, but every time I attempted it, it was a hot mess. I figured I must have been doing something wrong, but on reflection, and because I've since perfected it, I'm pretty sure the recipes were missing a few key points. I'll include them here so that you, too, can have perfectly carb free pizza every time.
1. After you've microwaved the cauliflower, make sure to let it cool COMPLETELY. The next step, squeezing out the liquid, is crucial, and it's extremely hard to do if the cauliflower is piping hot. Do the dishes, run an errand, put your makeup on...find something to do because this could take a little time.
2. As I said above, squeezing out the liquid is crucial. Your crust won't harden and you'll be left with a mushy cauliflower mess. (Trust me, I've done it.) If your cauliflower is completely cooled you'll be able to squeeze almost an entire cup of liquid out.
3. Don't use foil because it will stick. Use parchment or a Silpat mat.
4. Be patient. In my oven, the crust takes about 25-30 minutes to look like it does in the photo above, which, in my opinion, looks like a real thin crust pizza. It may take a little longer depending on the heat of your oven so be patient.
5. Don't overload the pizza. It's still cauliflower, not dough, so it can fall through. This recipe calls for no sauce and just parmesan cheese, but in recipes using sauce and mozzarella, this is a little more important.
And without further adieu...
Serves 2-3 as a side
2.5 cups of riced cauliflower
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups shredded brussels sprouts
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425°F
2. Place the riced cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 10 minutes. Remove from the microwave and allow to fully cool for 10-20 minutes.
3. Transfer the cauliflower to a nut milk bag or clean dish cloth. If using a dish cloth, pull up on the ends and squeeze all the liquid out of the cauliflower. You should be able to squeeze out about a full cup of liquid. This is the most important step to ensuring your crust forms.
4. Transfer the cauliflower back to the bowl and add in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, salt and the egg and mix well to combine.
5. On a parchment lined baking sheet, form the cauliflower into a circlular crust shape, about 1/4 inch in thickness. Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
6. In the meantime, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan and add in the brussels sprouts, chili flakes, and pine nuts. (You can omit the chili flakes if you don't like heat.) Cover and cook until the brussels sprouts and pine nuts have browned, about 7 minutes. (Do not add salt here. The parmesan cheese is very salty and it will be over salted.)
7. Check in on the pizza crust. Once it is nice and golden brown, raise the heat on your oven to 475°F and cook for another 5 minutes, until the edges begin to look burnt. Depending on your oven, it may not reach the 475° temperature in that amount of time, but if the edges are browning, it's ready.
8. Remove the crust from the oven and lower the oven to 375°F.
9. Layer the toppings over the crust. First, top with 1/4 cup with parmesan cheese, followed by all of the brussels sprouts mixture, and then a second layer of parmesan cheese.
10. Transfer the pizza back to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.