Monday, January 21, 2013

[Cauli]flower Power

A co-worker of mine forwarded this recipe from the Eating Bird Food blog this morning, and after a weekend of gluttony and over consumption of rich, greasy and hearty New York cuisine, this light and healthy pseudo pizza seemed to hit the hunger spot. For this recipe made easy, you'll definitely need a food processor (it needs a work out!), and preferably a pizza stone, or clay tile. 

Gluten free and low in calories/carbs, this "pizza crust" is more of a polenta than a sturdy pie base, so be prepared to eat with a knife and fork, or you'll be cursing as you try to handle it's foamy figure...

The "Crust"
Whole small califlower (white parts only)
2 whole garlic cloves
1 cup skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 lightly beaten egg 
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste

The Goods
1/2 cup crushed tomato sauce (I use sugar free marinara)
8-10 Oyster mushrooms, sliced
3 small roma tomatoes, sliced
5 large fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 slices smoked prosciutto, torn into small strips 

The Prep
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut or break cauliflower into small-medium size chunks and add to food processor. Pulse on low to break up, and slowly increase speed until cauliflower becomes fine, like grated parmigiana cheese. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and transfer ground cauliflower to pan. Add oregano & dried basil, and saute on medium until cooked (add 1 tsp water and reduce heat if sticking/browning), about 10 minutes.

To save time (and to avoid my fear of losing a finger to a cheese grater...), I tossed a good 4x1" block of mozzarella into the food processor to grate the cheese, along with a couple nice sized garlic cloves.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, transfer it to a large mixing bowl, and stir in lightly beaten egg, salt, pepper and cheese and mix well to combine. The mixture will be hot (and gooey) so be careful when you transfer to the pizza stone.

Spread the "dough" out on the stone - a good 1/4 to 1/2 inch round should run you about 10-12 inches of pizza - and press out flat. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes & remove from oven.

The next part is easy. In a small frying pan over medium heat, add mushrooms and tomatoes and cook just until they start to wilt. Remove from heat. 

Cover the baked pizza base in tomato sauce, and layer with mushroom/tomato mix, another 1/2 cup of mozzarella, fresh basil, prosciutto and crumbled goat cheese.  Put pizza stone back in oven and broil on low for 4 minutes, until you see the prosciutto start to crisp. Remove from oven, left stand 2 minutes, and cut with large knife.

Here's the warning part: this will not "lift" like regular pizza. You will need to use the knife as a spatula to transfer to a plate. 

Delicious, with leftovers for lunch that can reheat easily without going soggy!

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