MZ’s Cauliflower Crust Pizza [GF, VG, NF]
1/2 a head of cauliflower (riced – approx. 3 cups of riced cauliflower)
2 tsp (heaped) flaxseed meal soaked in 2 tbsp of warm water
1 tsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cornstarch (can sub with potato starch or tapioca starch)
1 cup of marinara sauce or puréed tomatoes
1 cup of any pesto variant
Blanched vegetables (e.g. kale, bell peppers/capsicums, mushrooms)
Fresh cherry tomatoes (halved)
Red chili flakes
Any vegan cheese option (I used vegan parmesan here) or just a tbsp of nutritional yeast to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F.
- Use a food processor to rice your cauliflower (or you can chop manually, if you’d prefer).
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil before adding the cauliflower rice. Keep it boiling for 3 minutes before pouring through a strainer and letting it cool for a few minutes. Save the water and return to pot.
- Bring the water back to a boil for a second time and drop in the vegetables you’re planning to use for topping (kale, bell pepper, etc.) for a minute. Fish them out, shake out the water, and place them in a bowl to cool.
- Tip your cauliflower rice into a clean dishtowel or mesh bag and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Make sure you test lightly wringing first so you don’t burn yourself – water in the centre of the rice may still be hot.
- Mix the cauliflower rice with the rest of the crust ingredients until a semi sticky dough forms.
- Pour half of your pesto into your topping vegetables along with your cherry tomatoes and basil. Toss to coat completely.
- Line a baking tray parchment paper and evenly sprinkle any gluten-fee flour in a rough circle to help prevent your pizza base from sticking to it.
- Transfer the dough to the parchment paper and use your fingers to press it into whatever shape you want your pizza to be. Keep the outer edges a little thicker than the centre. General rule of thumb is somewhere between 1.5cm/0.5in thickness overall.
- Bake this base for 50 minutes, checking it at 40 (depending on your thickness, it may have become golden-brown a little earlier). Remove from the oven and run a spatula between the crust and parchment paper in case there has been any adhesion. Place another piece of parchment on top and flip. Return the crust to the oven to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Test by pushing down on the middle of the crust – it should feel firm.
- Remove from the oven and spread a layer of marinara sauce/tomato, a layer of pesto, then all of your topping vegetables arranged to preference.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes (or until the toppings are cooked to your liking).
- Serve immediately sprinkled with red chili flakes, nutritional yeast or vegan cheese. Perhaps a bit more fresh basil.