It’s something of a staple in most British homes whether it’s out of the freezer or from the local takeaway. I have had some really good pizza over the years including a very memorable slice in New York and, a little closer to home, from The Cornish Pizza Co; an award winning pizza takeaway in the village where I live. But it is true to say that I have also had some awful pizza; soggy bases, bases the texture of cardboard and mushy, flavourless toppings.
Sadly, proper pizza is a treat denied to those who can’t eat wheat/gluten or who choose to follow a wheat free diet. Whilst they can, of course, choose proprietory gluten/wheat free options, this cauliflower crust pizza provides a really flavoursome alternative.
I didn’t develop this recipe in search of gluten free food but rather to find creative ways of using up a glut of cauliflowers. There are lots of recipes around (feel free to try them) but this one gives a great tasting base which you can pick up in your hands and eat, just as you would with real pizza.
Once you have made the base you can just cut that into slices and eat it as a kind of cauliflower bread, perfect with dips etc. Or you can go on to top it with the usual suspects. I made a simple cheese and tomato topping but you can add mushrooms, peppers, peperoni, whatever you like (but please don’t add pineapple – it’s just plain wrong!).
The good news is that you don’t have to be gluten intolerant to eat this. It tastes so good everyone will love it and its a great way to get extra veg into reluctant kids – win win!
1 medium Cauliflower
25g grated Parmesan Cheese
2 x 150g bags Mozzarella
Basil Leaves (to serve)
100g Tomato Sauce (homemade)
1 Egg (whisked)
Salt & Pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. Put a heavy baking sheet (or pizza stone) into the oven to heat up.
Cut the florets from the cauliflower and place in a food processor. (Don’t waste the stem – save it to use in a soup or stew.) Blitz the florets until they look like snow. Place in a suitable bowl and microwave on full for 4 minutes.
Once the cauliflower is cool mix in the grated parmesan. Drain the mozzarella and pat dry. Grate it into the cauliflower mix (it will mush a bit but that’s ok). Add the egg and mix everything together well (if your cauliflower was a bit on the big size you may need 2 eggs).
Place a sheet of greasproof paper onto the worksurface and pile on the cauliflower mix. Pat it out firmly with your hands and shape it into a circle about 10″-12″ in diameter.
Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and slide the greaseproof paper and pizza base onto it. Place your pizza base into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until browned and bubbling.
If you want to eat the base on its own set aside to cool and then slice.
If you are making pizza top the base with a layer of tomato sauce. Drain the second pack of mozzarella and tear into pieces. Scatter over the pizza and return the tray to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and melted.
Tear over the basil leaves and serve.