Greek cauliflower crust pizza holds all of the best flavours of a Greek salad. Nutrient-packed and delicious, too. This is possibly the closest to a grain-based pizza that you will find. And it’s easy to make!
If you just want the recipe, hit the button above, or scroll down. Otherwise, be warned that I will be talking briefly about recent, awful, events in the US that have had a wider effect.
How are you all? Andrew and I are feeling quite shaken. The events of the past 15 days, with the brutal death of unarmed black man George Floyd in the US city of Minneapolis, have rocked many of us. Not only by his tragic death, at the hands of those who were sworn to serve and protect. But by the deep well of feelings that his death and those of others in similarly awful circumstances have been drawn up and given voice.
Those voices were of course always there. For every extra-judicial killing, every abused stop and search, every denied opportunity because of skin colour and tone. So very many reasons to feel angry, grief-stricken and oppressed. Centuries of it.
For myself, I have been taking stock of my own actions and attitudes over the years. Wondering if, as someone raised in the Deep South, I have stood up enough, reached out enough, tried to understand enough.
Of course it’s not been enough. And many of us could say the same – if we are honest with ourselves.
So now, propelled by the energy that going to a peaceful demonstration gives (yesterday, here in Edinburgh). And by also attending yesterday’s online Black Lives Matter London event, I’m trying to do better. Right now I am at the nervous to say the wrong thing, write the wrong thing leg of my never-complete journey towards being an active anti-racist. So I will read.
On order are a few recommended resources (see bottom of post, above recipe card) that I hope will help nourish my soul and broaden my view. The matrix of cultural and institutional preferential treatment that people with colour of skin are afforded is rightly being spelled out and challenged by those who are oppressed by it. I am braced for more than a few home truths to jump from the passionate prose and hard statistics. It might get very uncomfortable. Even the seemingly cosy world of food is a space where colour divides (see the backlash surrounding US foodie “prom queen of the Pandemic” Alison Roman as a most recent example).
But of course, that will be easy for me compared to those who live with being made to feel ‘other’ every. single. day.
Eating my feelings
It feels odd to get on with everyday life – Covid-19 notwithstanding. Cooking, eating and feeding others is kind of my thing, but is now more than a little tinged with sadness. For many reasons.
So it feels decidedly awkward to jump straight into a recipe. But that’s why you are here. For the rainbow recipes and nuggets of experience accrued over nearly 20 years in cancer health education and nutrition.
Hopefully my little space on the blogosphere is a soothing one. A place to feel comfortable and know that you are welcome. All of you.
Making Greek Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Pizza with a tangy nod to the classic Greek salad is what is giving me a sliver of joy today. But not one with a grain-based crust. Oh, no. Nothing against the normal way of making pizza, but with this cauliflower dough and method I feel it can be appreciated for what it is: whole food and really so good.
The texture is as close to a “real” pizza as I think is possible without all of the fillers in bought cauliflower doughs. It is soft inside but with a bit a crunch, or at least toothsomeness. So I really wanted to share this with you. Feel free to treat this Greek cauliflower crust pizza as an Italian-style pizza, with stretchy mozzarella and a thick, slow-cooked tomato sauce.
What you need for the dough:
a cauliflower – about 450 gram – or 3 cups – finely grated/”riced”
golden flaxmeal/ground flax/linseeds
A couple sun-dried tomatoes – soft ones, otherwise rehydrated a wee bit
good hard Italian cheese – parmesan, pecorino or a flavourful vegan one; perhaps nutritional yeast for the umaminess if no cheese – and yes I know none of this is Greek 🙂
dried oregano or mixed herbs
And the toppings are sun-dried tomato paste, some marinated (bought) vegetables, optional small cauliflower leaves and seasoned feta.
Making the dough – the key to this pizza!
The first step is making sure the cauliflower is well minced to tiny “grains”. My favoured method relies on a blender. I have a tall jug so can do this all in a one-er, but you might need two gos at it.
My best way to make cauliflower rice – I’ve described this method in a couple of my recipes (see my Cool and Spicy Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh Bowl). However, if you’ve not seen or tried this, all you do is roughly chop the weighed cauliflower (so not 3 cups of cauliflower – that’s the minced measurement; 1 lb of cauli if weighing in the US) and pop into a blender. Add enough water so that it just starts to float. Hit “pulse” 3 times then check the size of the pieces. Give another pulse if necessary. Drain and press of as much water as possible. That’s how I make cauliflower “rice”, “couscous” and “bread”!
Other approaches are: buy it frozen (a popular US option), grate on a box grater (potentially painful and always messy), pulse in a food processor (risk of big bits and mush). For all methods you will then dry the cauliflower out a bit on a baking tray before mixing with the “dough” ingredients, rolling onto parchment then baking it on a tray for 15 minutes. Then you will flip it out and, with the baked side uppermost, top with all of the yummy bits.
The most “work” is on the dough: the topping work is a doddle. But the dough is very straightforward. I promise. Total time from initial grating of the cauliflower to deciding whether you should eat it with a fork or risk a hand-held slice is about 40 minutes. Not bad for a homemade, whole food pizza, is it?
A few other cauliflower rice-type recipes here on Food To Glow
and my first Cauliflower pizza, from 2012 – Cauliflower and Almond Pizza Crust with Fresh Sauce and Greens
Below are some of the resources I consult to inform myself on the innumerable injustices facing non-white people in majority-white countries, and the cumulative and individual effects on the wider global community.
15 books to learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement and racial injustice (Cosmopolitan, June 2020)
Black Lives Matter: Plays, books and documentaries that are essential material (includes Google docs divided into categories and complied by whatsonstage.com)
Also, Instagram and Twitter are great places to follow fresh voices. Let me know if you want some suggestions on who to follow. And feel free to suggest some people to me.
Keep well. See you very soon, with perhaps something sweet to bake.
But as always, with a healthier Food To Glow twist! 🙂
Greek Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Nutrient-packed and delicious, this Greek cauliflower crust pizza holds all of the best flavours of a Greek salad. And it's easy to make, too!
Cauliflower Pizza Base
- 450 g "riced" cauliflower see notes below for how-to
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 65 g parmesan, pecorino or vegan hard cheese lower sodium if possible
- 30 g golden flaxmeal/ground flax
- 2 sun-dried tomatoes
- ¼ tsp dried oregano or Italian mixed herbs
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
- 6 marinated artichoke hearts
- 10 Kalamata olives
- 2 antipasti pepper halves
- small cauliflower leaves the freshest ones
- 75 g feta cheese lower sodium if possible
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried mint optional
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes optional
Lay the riced cauliflower on a baking tray and bake in a 190C fan/400F oven for 10-15 minutes. This is to dry out the cauliflower a bit. Check at 10 minutes and stir if necessary to redistribute any browned bits. Keep oven on.
Mix the dough ingredients, mixing well then squishing together to make a kind of dough. Roll between 2 pieces of parchment to about a 1/4-inch depth, a little more or less is fine. Have the edges a bit thicker than the centre if possible. Remove top sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove from oven and cover with the previous sheet of parchment and the back of another tray. Hold all together and flip. Peel back the now-damp paper and slide the cooked dough back onto the tray with the new paper on the tray. You want the cooked crust uppermost. Turn the oven up to 200C F/425F to fully bake the pizza after topping.
While the crust is baking and before you flip it over, sort the toppings. Finely grate the cheese; mince the sun-dried tomatoes; slice the artichoke hearts; stone and tear the olives; chop the peppers.
Crumble the feta cheese into a small bowl and mix with the olive oil, oregano and chilli flakes. Set side.
Spread the sun-dried tomato puree over the cooked side of the base. Evenly cover the base with the chopped vegetables and dot with the seasoned feta.
Place the Greek cauliflower crust pizza in the 200C F/ 425F oven for 8 minutes. Slice into 9 pieces and enjoy!
You may use prepared, frozen cauliflower. Rinse in a fine sieve and press with a ladle or small bowl until most of the water is gone.
If making your own cauli rice, you can do one of three things: grate on a box grater; pulse in a food processor (not terribly efficient); or put chopped pieces in a blender and top with water until the cauliflower just floats, then pulse a few times and drain. Whichever method is used the cauliflower needs pre-baking. This is to drive off inherent moisture and give the very best result. 🙂
You can make this lower in fat and sodium by choosing lower sodium and lower fat dairy products - the feta and the hard Italian cheese - as well as using artichoke hearts in brine (pressing out some of the brine before using) and dried rather than oil-cured dried tomatoes.