Pizza does not equal paleo…but pizza does equals awesome.
This causes a problem for me.
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy following a paleo based diet and this inability to partake in one of the most delicious concoctions ever dreamed up is a huge bummer for me. Seriously, all I need is a shell and some green skin and I’d be a dead-ringer for a Ninja Turtle.
So when I saw Dr. John Berardi throw a picture on his facebook abou a pizza with crust made out of cauliflower my interest was piqued. A simple way to get more vegetables, break up the monotony of meat/eggs for most meals and an opportunity to pretend I’m a world class chef by making something awesome out of something people rarely eat for it’s awesome taste. This. Is. Going to be. Awesome.
Paleo Pizza Part 1
Now I actually made this for dinner on Sunday night. Somehow three other people trusted me enough with a recipe I was pretty much making up as I went along. The pressure was on…
The initial picture listed the ingredients as cauliflower, egg, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. A little bit of googling for other recipes turned up pretty much the exact same thing. Good enough for me. As far as proportions go I went with 1 egg per cup of cauliflower and 1 cup of cauliflower per person. Cook the cauliflower and then mash it up like you would mashed potatoes to create the base of the “dough”.
On top of that I tossed in about 3/4 of a bag of Sargento shredded mozzarella because I didn’t feel like measuring. It won’t be anything like regular pizza dough so don’t worry about making it too thick. As long as it’s not runny and liquid like you’ll be ok. Mix it up until it’s the consistency of thick oatmeal and then spread it out on to a very well oiled baking sheet. Start with less cheese than you’d think and then add it little by little.
Paleo Pizza Part 2
Set you’re oven to 425(ish) and cook just the cauliflower/cheese/egg mixture for about 20-30 minutes. Pull it out when the “dough” is pre-cooked and doesn’t resemble oatmeal anymore. If you used the right amount of cheese it should be semi crispy and not resembling a giant thing of melted mozzarella. This was a mistake I made the first time and it was wayyyyyy to cheesy for my taste.
Ok, so your “dough” is pre-baked and not super cheesy. Now add your toppings and throw it back into the oven until they are warm and ready to eat. I’d suggest laying off on putting anymore soft cheese as a topping since your crust is already chock full of it. A bit of grated hard cheese like parmesan or romano is a good addition though since they have a slightly different flavor/texture.
Peppers, onions, spinach, tomatoes, basil, garlic. All of these are stellar choices. It’s really up to you to experiment and see what combos you like. Anything you’d put on a regular pizza is fair game.
Paleo Pizza: The Epilouge
- Don’t use too much cheese in the “dough”. It’ll be way to cheesy and you won’t be able to get a crispy pizza like crust. It’ll essentially be an upside down nacho without the chips.
- Tomato sauce can be used if you are able to get the “dough” crispy enough. Otherwise the whole thing is too soggy to pass as pizza.
- When cooking the cauliflower I suggest using a saucepan, cover and just enough water to steam it. I used a vegetable steamer and blame that for causing the whole thing to come out soggier than planned. If you choose to use a full blown vegetable steamer I’d at least let the cauliflower drain a bit before mashing the hell out of it.
- Parchment paper would have been ideal to have for this. Even with a shit ton of olive oil on the backing sheet the “dough” stuck to it.