Wednesday, August 29, 2012

191. Cauliflower and Zucchini Crust for Pizza

I took a huge risk trying this recipe on my family.  Only a few us should not eat wheat and so most of our bread that I make is not wheat free and this would include our pizza dough.

I feared that if I tried this my family would boycott the pizza party.

I had a few odd looks from my kids when I told them what the crust was made out of but the overall response was positive.

It helped that I made a homemade red sauce to accompany the cauliflower, bell pepper and zucchini crust.

Yep, I went there.  To that special place reserved for those of us trying to push the envelope with recipe development.  Could the crust handle two more added ingredients or would it change the dynamics of the crust and create a gooey glob of vegetables.

I guess it was a chance I was willing to take.  My gut told me it would work and it did.

The key to making this crust turn out is "less is best".  You must squeeze out every last drop of water from the vegetables that you can.  I used a towel and wrung it until my hands could not wring any more.  LOL  Next time I may recruit my hubby for this.

Does the crust replace a traditional pizza crust from NYC…heck no, but to those of us that are trying to eat less wheat, less carbs and eat a bit healthier, this is a great alternative to try once in a while.

Recipe:  Cauliflower and Zucchini Pizza Crust

6 cups of raw cauliflower, chopped finely, I use my food processor
1 cup of zucchini, chopped finely, I use my food processor
1/2 cup of yellow bell pepper, chopped finely
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated fine
4 oz or 1/2 cup of cream cheese, soft
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon of dried italian herbs
pinch of salt

Pizza Sauce, your choice
Pizza Toppings, your choice

I used my food processor to finely chop (rice) all of my vegetables.

Boil one inch of water in a large pot and add veggies.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Line a large colander or strainer with a thin dish cloth and pour vegetables into strainer.  BE VERY CAREFUL if you decide to squeeze the veggies at this point without letting them cool first, you will burn your hands, trust me, I already did the first time.

Two things can be done: let the vegetables cool for 15 minutes or rinse them with cold water.  You decide.

Gather up the edges of the towel and start wringing out the water.  Even when you think you have done all you can do, try again.  It should be as dry as possible.

Take a large bowl and add cheese, cream cheese, egg, herbs and salt.  Mix well.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dump the "dough" in the middle of the pan.

Using your hands, push the crust until you have the desired thickness.  I went for a 1/4 inch. Your hands will get messy and sticky.

Your crust should look like this before it is baked.

Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.  The crust will have a golden appearance.

Add your sauce, cheese and toppings and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Cut your pizza like any other crusted pizza with a pizza wheel. The crust will be easier to pick up and eat if cooled for a few minutes.


Justine Fontinell said...

I just pinned this and seriously cannot wait to make it!

Betty Martha said...

super! Now my only question is in your ingredient list - raw cauliflower rice? Am I to assume you meant raw cauliflower that is riced (or chopped super finely?)

Sherron Watson said...

Yes…let me change the wording on that so that it is not so confusing. LOL

Sherron Watson said...

I hope that helps. That "rice" word is a bit misleading…LOL

Ann said...

I have made cauliflower crust pizza before and love your addition of zucchini and pepper as well as the cheese variety. It looks absolutely delicious!

Sherron Watson said...

Thank you Ann. I have made this with other types of cheese to test if it would turn out the same and this seems to be the best fit for my family. They like the texture and flavor that this combination creates.

Tara said...

I can't wait to make this Sherron! I try to stay low carb which is the only thing that helps me maintain my girlish figure. ;D So this will be great way for me to still enjoy Pizza! xoxox

Anneke Bhat said...

Is it 6 cups of riced cauliflour? Or 6 cups before you rice it?

Sherron Watson said...

6 cups of raw, riced cauliflower, then you will steam it and squeeze out all of the water and you will be left with about 4 cups total of all three veggies. I hope this answers your question.

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious. Ill probably make it tonight. I wonder... what does the cream cheese do for it? Seems like it wouldnt make the crust solid...?

Anonymous said...

Wonder if you steamed instead of boiling the veggies if it would be drier to begin with?

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious! Any suggestions for a dairy free version? My LO & I are dairy free..

Sherron Watson said...

Good Morning. I have not made this dairy free but there are recipes out there. You basically use the same ingredients minus the parm cheese and cream cheese. The thing I would not know because I have not tried it, is how it holds up when picking up a slice of pizza. With the cheese included it is pretty hand friendly. I would love to know how it works if you choose to try it. I will also try it the next time I make this with a little pizza to compare the two. Have a good day!

Sherron Watson said...

I have not tried steaming the veggies and would love to hear from you if you tried this. I know that when I steam zucchini it still has a lot of water but the cauliflower may work better steamed. Please let me know if you tried steaming. Thank you for your question.

Brianna said...

Thanks! I'll definitely try and let you know:)

Anonymous said...

Hello! I have now made this about 5 times and LOVE it! I add some meat toppings and my partner and I were absolutely astonished at how tasty it is! We are normally strictly Paleo, but we do allow some dairy so this worked well for us. Oh and I don;t use grease proof paper but just a really good non-stick baking tray, which is perfect. The dough stuck to the paper and I lost most of the batch on the first try. Thanks so much for posting!!!

Sherron Watson said...

Thank you for the feedback. I am so glad that you both enjoyed the pizza. I make this at least once a week. ENJOY!

H-Slind said...

Do you think the dough would stick to a pizza stone if I used that instead of the greace proof paper? I'm a huge fan of the pizza stone and use it to bake my pizza's and cookies on, as well as anything I can think to cook on it! Thanks! I'm going to make this tonight!

Sherron Watson said...

I think a pizza stone would work great. I would pre heat it first. Let me know how it turns out.

H-Slind said...

So I think that I made it too thin cause I couldn't get the crust off the stone! but the taste was great! I ended up just mixing the crust in with the toppings!

Anonymous said...

I just made this with flax seed instead of egg, and soy cheese, and almond cheese instead of dairy cheese. Turned out awesome!

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