Adapted from a recipe by Food Network chef Valerie Bertinelli, this cauliflower crust is perfect for anyone craving pizza but committed to eating healthier this year. Made with cauliflower, parmesan, herbs, and an egg to bind it all together, the crust has no refined carbohydrates and is a good source of vegetables and protein. Still, it looks like pizza and tastes a lot like pizza, only lighter and perhaps even more flavorful, with the parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings. I topped my pizza with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and fresh basil leaves. Feel free to experiment with other ingredients, like slices of sauteed eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, or caramelized onions.
1 head of cauliflower (5-6 cups)
1 garlic clove
1 cup parmesan, grated
½ teaspoon dried oregano, basil, or mixture of both
½ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mozzarella, grated or cut into thin, round slices
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Assorted vegetables, such as sauteed eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with oil.
Place garlic and cauliflower in food processor, and pulse until finely ground. Empty mixture into a medium-size mixing bowl, and pat with a paper towel to remove excess liquid.
Mix in grated parmesan, egg, salt, dried oregano or basil, and black pepper, until well combined.
Place mixture on prepared baking sheet and shape into a circle, about ⅛ inch thick. Spread on sauce with a spoon, making sure to leave about a 1 inch border around the edges. Sprinkle on mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and any vegetables you plan on using.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until crust is a light golden color.
Liana’s Kitchen is a column by Astoria-based chef and foodie Liana Grey. Check out her food blog Kitchen Chem.