The first time I ever made a cauliflower pizza, it was a disaster.
A soggy, wet, messy flop of a disaster.
Somehow, I didn’t get the memo (or the brain!) which said you need to squeeze the water from the steamed cauliflower before turning it into a base. What happened…well, you can guess! A not-so-delicious pile of tomato flavoured mush.
After that, I didn’t attempt to make one again for a while. It really was THAT horrific! Anyway, fast forward to now, AKA cauliflower season, and I decided to have another go. Thank goodness, this Cauliflower Crust Pizza With Tomato & Red Pepper Sauce turned out beautifully! Hurrah!
I learned from my mistakes and squeezed and squeezed and squeezed some more to get that water out. And the result was a perfectly crisp, golden, delicious pizza base.
Low-carb, vegan, full of goodness (cauliflower is rich in vitamins C and K, and also great for digestion and detoxification) and oh-so yummy!
Recently, I’ve become a little bit addicted to red pepper and tomato sauces, so I topped mine with lashings of that. I just love the sweetness that red pepper lends marinara and pasta sauces without the need for sugar, plus is ramps up the goodness factor too!
And to keep this pizza as clean and as nutritious as possible, I topped it with my favourite pizza rainbow – more red pepper, avocado, sweetcorn, rocket, cherry tomatoes and hummus.
If you’re yet to try hummus on pizza, then I suggest that you do so now! It’s a great substitute for cheese as it lends that creamy taste and texture, but is also high in protein and far lower in fat. Plus, let’s face it, couldn’t you just eat hummus on everything?!
Of course, if you’re not a hummus lover, then add whatever you like in place of it! Mozzarella, feta, ricotta, or whatever you find lurking in the back of your fridge.
You can also add your favourite veggies to this pizza instead – it really is all about the base, and that marinara!
Cauliflower Crust Pizza With Red Pepper & Tomato Sauce
- Serves 4 (Makes 2 medium sized pizzas)
- 600g cauliflower rice (roughly 4 cups / 2 heads cauliflower)
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1.5 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 – 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp dried oregano or basil
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 flax eggs or 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- For the red pepper and tomato marinara –
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (the best quality you can afford)
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- Splash red wine (optional)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Squeeze lemon juice
- Handful fresh basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup cashews, soaked 4-6 hours and drained (optional)
- To top –
- Rocket, fresh basil, sliced avocados, red pepper hummus, sweetcorn, sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced red pepper
- Start by making your marinara sauce. Gently heat some oil in a pan, then add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes, stirring often, until golden. Add in the pepper, tomatoes, tomato puree and red wine, if using, and heat on low-medium until thickened (around 15-20 minutes), stirring frequently to prevent the sauce from catching.
- Take the thickened sauce off the heat, then place in the blender with the basil, lemon juice and cashews, if using. Whizz smooth, or until you achieve you desired consistency, then season to taste and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 220C. To make your cauliflower base, steam your cauliflower rice until completely softened. Allow to cool. Using a muslin or tea towel, squeeze the water from the cauliflower rice, ensuring you remove as much water as possible – this ensures a crispy crust, and helps to prevent it from falling apart! Be patient, you may have to repeat this a few times to remove all the water.
- Tip your cauliflower rice into a bowl, then stir in the remaining base ingredients, adding as much or as little ground almonds as needed to bring it to a ‘dough’ – if the mixture is a little sticky, add more. If it’s dry, then you’ll need less, and perhaps a touch more egg / flax egg. Season to taste.
- Line a pizza tin or tray with baking paper, then spoon over your cauliflower base, leaving enough to form a second pizza. Shape into your desired shape, and press down firmly with the back of a spoon (or your hands) to ensure it’s packed tight and you have an even surface. Repeat with second pizza.
- Place the bases in the oven to bake for 18-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the crust is beginning to crisp.
- Add your marinara sauce and return to the oven to bake for a further 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling.
- Remove the pizzas from the oven, then scatter over desired toppings. Cut into slices and eat immediately!