When is a pizza not a pizza? When it’s gluten-free and the base is made from cauliflower? What if that same pizza is thin, crisp and just as delicious as it’s doughy counterpart? There’s only one way to find out. We've opted for a simple topping of tomato, ricotta and chilli, but we recommend experimenting. After all, in the case of healthy pizzas, your options are limitless.
- 600 g cauliflower florets
- 410 g can pureed tomatoes
- 2 tsp dried Italian herbs, plus extra 2 tsp for dough
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 40 g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 tbsp almond meal
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- olive oil spray or olive oil
- 70 g low fat ricotta
- 10 pitted black olives
- pinch chilli flakes
- 30 g baby rocket leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven 230ºC. Place a pizza stone or baking tray in the oven to heat up.
Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Alternatively, grate by hand. Transfer the cauliflower to a steamer basket and place over a saucepan of boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes then spread out to drain in a large colander. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool a little.
Meanwhile, combine the tomato and 2 teaspoons of Italians herbs in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Season to taste, cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat.
Mound the cauliflower in the centre of a clean tea towel or muslin and bring the edges together to enclose. Wrap tightly and squeeze out as much water as possible, taking care as the water will be hot. Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl and mix in the Parmesan cheese, almond meal and extra Italian herbs. Season to taste, add the egg and mix until well combined.
Place the cauliflower mixture into the centre of a large piece of baking paper. Using your hands, firmly press into a 30 cm x 0.5 cm thick circle (if using a baking tray shape the mixture to suit). Slide the baking paper and cauliflower base on to the pizza stone (or baking tray) and spray or brush the surface with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 25 minutes until golden on top and firm to touch. Spread the tomato evenly over the base and dot with ricotta. Arrange the olives around the ricotta and sprinkle with chilli flakes. Return to the oven and cook for further 5 minutes until the toppings are heated through and the base is crisp. Remove from the oven and carefully slide the pizza onto a serving board . Serve sliced with rocket.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.