I have a love hate relationship with cauliflower.
It all started a few years ago when I was suuuuper obsessed with cauliflower rice. For those of you who aren’t familiar with cauli rice, it’s pretty much a staple of any grain-averse person’s diet whereby you grind cauliflower in a food processor until it comes out the texture of rice. Then you steam it and season it up and voila! You have a sub-par replica of rice that kinda sorta passes as edible when topped with stir-fry or curry or what have you.
Yet for some reason, despite the rice-but-not-quite-rice texture and flavor, I ate it a lot. Like a lot a lot. More than one person should ever eat rice-but-not-quite-rice. Don’t ask me why. It’s a mystery.
Then one day I made the mistake of taking cauli rice to work for lunch.
After a hellacious Monday A.M. meeting I speed-walked to the kitchen, whipped out my little container of rice-but-not-quite-rice, popped it in the microwave, and hit the zap button. Two minutes later, after it was all nice and steamy, I, along with 100 of my closest coworkers, discovered that warm cauliflower in a confined space smells like wet towels left in the washing machine a little too long.
And that smell travels, I tell you. Especially when your cubicle is 50 yards from the kitchen and you have to do the walk of shame carrying stanky cauli rice all the way back to your seat. Not even my desk fan set on turbo could undo the damage of that little container of cauliflower.
[My apologies to all my coworkers who might be reading this. It was me. I admit it.]
And ever since then I have avoided cauliflower like the plague.
That is until I came across cauliflower pizza crust. With the advent of the Paleo diet, it seems like pizza was one of the first (and most necessary) things to get a makeover, and cauliflower quickly became all the rage.
Well, I'm here to tell you everything you've heard is true. It's delicious, it holds up well under the weight of all those incredible toppings, and it's less odiferous than its cousin, cauli rice. And after a little trial and error I believe I stumbled upon the world's best cauliflower pizza recipe. The secret? Use a hot pizza stone to get the bottom nice and crisp. That's it! From there the rest is easy.
But enough about me! Let's get cooking.
1 small head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, pressed
3/4 c pecorino romano cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp rosemary
8-10 stalks asparagus
5 pieces bacon, cooked
1/2 c goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lay asparagus on a baking sheet and coat with a little olive oil. Roast for 8-9 minutes until almost completely done, but so the asparagus retains some of its crispness.
- Place pizza stone in the oven.
- While pizza stone is getting hot, make your crust. Place cauliflower florets in a food processor and chop until you get a fine, fluffy texture. A medium size head of cauliflower should yield about 3 1/2 cups.
- Put cauliflower in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 7 minutes. Then transfer the cooked cauliflower to a clean dish towel and squeeze out the excess water. You want to get the cauliflower as dry as possible. Too much moisture will make your crust soggy. I am usually able to squeeze out about 1/2 cup, but sometimes I get more or less depending on the cauliflower.
- Put cauliflower in a bowl and add the romano cheese, egg, olive oil, salt and rosemary. Combine well.
- Spread the crust mixture on a piece of parchment paper and press down firmly to make sure the crust sticks together. You want it to be about 1/2 inch thick.
- Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove your pizza stone from the oven and place your parchment paper with the cauliflower crust on top. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
- Once the crust gets uniformly golden brown all over, remove it from the oven, top it with the bacon, asparagus, and goat cheese, and put it back in the oven to continue baking for another 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.