Cauliflower Pizza Base (with super fancy toppings)
Guess who’s back!
Okay, okay, it’s only been about four days, but I’ve been so busy with work and University that I feel like it’s been way longer. While I do enjoy being this busy (I’ve never been one for twiddling my thumbs…) it’s nice to have some down time and the luxury to do things like turn the oven on for the first time since I’ve moved in (awkward) and also use intriguing ingredients like thyme and goat’s cheese. How fancy.
As you may know (because I complain about it all the time 😉 ), I don’t eat gluten nowadays, which means that I can’t have regular bread, pizza or any of that good stuff. Boo 😦 I’ve been rooting around (mainly on Pinterest) to find edible alternatives to my favourite dishes, and these two recipes caught my eye (links here and here). They’re for a pizza base made from cauliflower (what?!) and the awesome idea of using goat’s cheese, apple, caramelised onions and honey as a pizza topping (um, yummy!). I set out to put the two together and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!
If you also fancy a yummy treat, you will need the following ingredients:
For the base – Half a head of cauliflower, Parmesan cheese (approx. 250g), 1 egg, 1 clove of garlic, mixed herbsFor the topping – 1/2 an onion, 1 apple (I used a Pink Lady because they’re my fave), soft goats cheese, thyme, honey and a few teaspoons of butter (or a butter substitute for cooking the onions such as coconut oil)First, get to work on your cauliflower ‘dough’ by using a cheese grater or a food processor to blitz one cup (approximately one third to one half of a head) of cauliflower to pieces about the size of grains of rice. Decant into a bowl and microwave for five to eight minutes.
While it’s in the microwave, get started on your topping by slicing half an onion and one apple into the thinnest slices you can manage (be careful of your fingers!), then crush one clove of garlic, crack and beat your egg and grate your parmesan cheese so you’re all ready to go. Also remember to turn on your oven (you’ll need it preheated to 200 degrees or gas mark 6).
Now you can go ahead and start shaping your pizza! Use a greased tray or cookie sheet and spread out the dough to a diameter of about 9 inches (I don’t think I made mine big enough and it didn’t cook exactly the way I would have liked – I think a very thin, even layer of dough is the best option). Place it in the preheated oven to cook for ten to fifteen minutes (keep your eye on it!)
As soon as the pizza base is cooking, start heating two teaspoons of butter (or your butter substitute) in a medium sized pan. Once it’s nice and hot, add the thinly sliced onions, and after frying for a minute or so, turn the heat right down, stirring occasionally, and making sure the onions are coated in the butter. This is basically a lazy way to caramelise onions without burning your house down, and they turn out great! Leave the onions on a low heat until the pizza is almost cooked, and then you can optionally add some apple slices into the pan to soften. I tried this out, and they were tasty but I much preferred the crunch and freshness of the uncooked slices, so I think I’d skip this step next time.
Once your base is browned (maybe a little more than mine, I think mine was a little too thick and therefore a tiny bit too doughy), remove it from the oven, take the onions off the heat, and assemble your toppings. You can do the toppings any way you want, but I chose to add the cheese and the onions and then whack it back in the oven for five minutes just to let the cheese get good and melty. Once that was done, I added a few sprigs of thyme and the fresh apple slices, and then topped it all off with a drizzle of honey which definitely made all the flavours pop. Nom nom nom.
I really hope you get to try this recipe out, it’s super nice and actually much easier than it sounds for a pretty complex set of ingredients.