Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Deliciously Successful Primal Pizza Hack

Let me just start by asking, is there anything that cauliflower can't do? Such a versatile nutritious and delicious food!  I used it as a base for a Stroganoff-style beef stew I made last week and it did an amazing job at sopping up the rich gravy.  But this time it's pulling duty as "crust."  

As I've said before, giving up grains doesn't mean giving up particular food experiences, you just need to think outside the (wait for it) pizza box.  I've read lots of different recipes for paleo and primal pizza crusts as well as plenty of reviews, both positive and negative.  The most common complaint was that the crust was too soft and soggy and simply not crust-like enough.   Challenge accepted!

Preheat oven to 450, line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  I love Martha Wrap, it's my new favorite.  

Next, break up a head of cauliflower into florets, add it with a few cloves of peeled garlic into a steamer basket and steam until fork tender.  LET COOL. I did not do this because I am impatient but I don't want you to burn your fingers. Lay out a clean dishtowel and pour the cauliflower and garlic onto the towel.  Gather up the corners, twist it up and squeeze it like you mean it (over the sink) getting rid of all the excess water.  Put the dry mixture into a bowl.

Now for the flavorings and binders.  Add two eggs, pinch of salt, pinch of crushed red pepper, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and 2 tablespoons of grated cheese.  Mix it up with a fork, mashing as you go.  You should end up with a nice soft dough.

Spread dough out onto the parchment, forming a rectangle.

Bake at 450 for about 30 minutes.  Your oven may be faster or slower, so keep an eye on it for the last 10 minutes.  Pull it out when it looks like this...

Now you're free to top as you like, then return to oven until the toppings are brown and bubbly, it won't take long.  I wanted it to be like garlic flat bread, so I brushed it with a bit more olive oil, sprinkled on a bit more crushed red and topped with a bit more shredded cheese.  This was the result...

It looked like pizza, it cut beautifully with the pizza wheel and though it's not "traditional" crust, it tasted pretty damn good and the texture was way better than I thought it would be.  Such a fun side dish, showing here with a perfectly cooked steak and roasted marinated beets.

And like really good pizza, it tasted really good cold.  I was excited to find the leftovers in my lunch bag at work!