Ciao, Cavolfiore (Hello, Cauliflower)

If you’re plant-strong, you know that cauliflower can often be the focal point of many delicious meals.  It has jumped from being a boring side-dish to letting its fractals shine as the main course of any table.

Many people enjoy cauliflower cooked or raw.  It is great as a crudite, and grates beautifully for garnishes, salad add-in’s, etc. Cauliflower is also rich in nutrients and is loaded with vitamin C and fiber. But pizza crust? Cauli-balls? Really? One of the things I know about cauliflower is that it contains a lot of water, and the last thing I wanted was a soggy pizza crust.

Here is one recipe that will either create four (four) personal pan pizzas, or 16-18 cauli-balls.  Same recipe.  Same technique, and totally delicious.  Add some new twists to your Italian recipe collection, I think you will really like this recipe.   Play with the dough and enjoy the process.

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Ingredients for the “Cauliflower Pizza Dough”

1 head of fresh cauliflower, grated (you’ll get about 4 cups of grated cauliflower)

5 cloves of finely minced garlic

2 T of fresh, minced basil

2 T of fresh, minced flat (Italian) parsley

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

4T of flax meal

6T of water

2 T coarse corn meal

Directions

Grate the cauliflower until it resembles “rice.”  Add all ingredients, except the flax meal and water.

Mix well with your hands.

In a microwave-proof bowl, add the cauliflower mix.  Cover.  Microwave for two minutes.

Allow to cool.  Take a handful of the mixture and over an empty bowl, squeeze any liquid out of the cauliflower. Repeat until all the cauliflower has been drained.  This may yield a full cup of liquid.

Get the flax meal and add the water to it.  Stir, and allow to sit for a few minutes.  Once it has thickened, add to the cauliflower, and mix well with your hands.  It should be firm and pliable.  At this point, you may want to taste and add any extra seasonings (garlic, nutritional yeast, etc.)

For the Pizza

Divide the cauliflower “dough” into four pieces.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle corn meal on the paper.

With a ball of the “dough,” pat it into a round, four-five inch pizza shell, and it should be about one inch thick.  Make the others, and place them on baking sheet.

Place in a 400 degree oven for thirty minutes.  Remove from oven, and with a wide mouth spatula, turn the  pizza crust over, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven, and let cool.

When it is time to dress your pizza, set up a “veggie bar” with favorites and let everyone create their own pizza.

Pop in an oven for 8-10 minutes until the sauce bubbles.  Or, if you are like me, the pizzas are great COLD!

For the Meatballs

Take the mixture, and scoop with a two-ounce scoop, and roll into a ball.  Place on parchment paper (no need for corn meal), and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Once the meat balls are done, you can put them into a pot of sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Great with pasta, zucchini pasta, a wrap, etc.  You will love these “cauli-balls.”

When people say to me, “Don’t you miss (name a food)?”  And honestly, how can you miss anything when vegetables become the palette for your palate?

Enjoy the cauliflower, and show us what plant-strong creations you make!

Buon Appetito!

 

 

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