Paleo Pizzas {Pizza #1}

What do you get a man that doesn’t need anything? That is what I always struggle with when it comes to buying Shane {or my dad for that matter } a gift. So for Father’s day I told Shane I would make him anything he wanted for dinner, he decided on Paleo pizza. I made two, one with a cauliflower crust and one with an eggplant crust, both with the same toppings. I thought it would be easier to decide which crust was better if the toppings were the same.

So, were they good? Yes, the cauliflower crust has a really good flavor but it is delicate and can’t hold a lot of toppings. You have to make sure you squeeze all of the water out of the cauliflower or it will take forever to cook. The edges get crispy and you can taste the cheese, yum. We didn’t have any leftovers but I don’t think this crust will hold up well over time.

The eggplant crust is easier to make and like the cauliflower you need to make sure to squeeze all of the water out, I had Shane help, man hands are better at this. This crust is sturdier and crispier than the other and overall resembled more of a “real” pizza crust. The eggplant crust is  the better of the two with toppings but alone it had a slightly bitter taste.

So if I had to choose, I would use the eggplant crust with a pizza that has a lot of strong tasting toppings and the cauliflower crust for a more mellow pizza like the Margherita or plain cheese.

These are the toppings I used.

No sauce just some garlic and olive oil.

Mozzarella + Parmesan + Goat cheese

Prosciutto, caramelized onions, fresh arugula and fresh basil { I added some chopped tomatoes on pizza #2 }

Cauliflower Crust  I used this recipe and it was spot on.

IMG_20130615_170959

1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower – should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (crush it even more between your fingers)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (crust it even more between you fingers)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
optional a few shakes of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 egg
optional 1 tablespoon almond meal

Place a pizza stone in the oven, or baking sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil.

Wash and throughly dry a small head of cauliflower. Don’t get one the size of your head unless you are planning on making 2 pizzas. Cut off the florets, you don’t need much stem. Just stick with the florets. Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get powdery snow like cauliflower. See above photo. You should end up with 2 to 3 cups cauliflower “snow”. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool for a bit before attempting the next step.

Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and ring the heck out of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess.

Dumped ringed out cauliflower into a bowl. Now add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt), and a dash of red pepper if you want. I also added 1 tablespoon almond meal because my cauliflower yielded closer to 2 cups of cauli snow, this is optional and I would not add the almond meal if you have closer to 3 cups of cauli snow. Now add your egg and mix away. Hands tend to work best.

Once mixed together, use your hands to form the dough into a crust on your oiled parchment paper. Pat it down thoroughly, you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don’t make it too thick or thin either.
Using a cutting board slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 8 – 11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.
Add your toppings and then slide parchment with topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden.
Allow to cool for a few minutes then cut and serve.
IMG_20130615_173822

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