The Beauty Chef’s Mediterranean Cauliflower Pizza

Can you imagine eating a pizza without the gut luggage and lethargy that follows, but still with all the classic topping of olives, capsicum and cheese? Enter the incredibly versatile cauliflower, in brilliant disguise here, as a delicious, nutritious base for this much-loved favourite dish.

Serves 2 (makes one 23cm pizza).

INGREDIENTS

CAULIFLOUR BASE

1 (600g) Cauliflower
1/4 cup (25g) finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (25g) almond meal
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

PIZZA SAUCE

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or dried basil
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

PIZZA SAUCE

1/2 roasted red capsicum, peeled, seeded and sliced
4 marinated artichoke halves, thickly sliced
150g marinated goat’s cheese, broken into lumps
1/4 cup (45g) pitted Kalamata olives
1 large handful rocket leaves
1 tablespoon pine nuts, lightly toasted
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

METHOD

Place a pizza stone or upturned baking tray (baking sheet) in the oven and preheat the oven to 220°C. Lightly grease and line a 26cm pizza tray with baking paper.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Line a colander with muslin (cheesecloth) or a clean tea towel. Place the cauliflower in a food processor and blend until finely chopped into tiny grains.

Cook the cauliflower for 1 minute, so it still has bite to it but is not completely raw. Pour into the prepared colander and set aside to drain and cool slightly.

To prepare the pizza sauce, heat the oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook the garlic until softened. Add the tomatoes and herbs and cook for 15 minutes, or until softened and the liquid has reduced to make a thick sauce. Puree using a stick blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper.

Bundle the cauliflower up in the muslin cloth or tea towel and squeeze out any excess liquid.

To prepare the base, place the cauliflower and the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Spoon the mixture in the centre of the pizza tray and press out to make an even base. Place the pizza tray onto the preheated pizza stone or upturned baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and beginning to crisp up.

Spread the prepared sauce over the base. Scatter the roasted capsicum, artichoke, goat’s cheese and olives on top. Cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the cheese softens and begins to turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven, top with rocket and scatter with pine nuts. Drizzle with oil. Slice to serve.

Recipe by Carla Oats via The Beauty Chef Cook Book

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