Second Chance Pizza
Pizza may just be the perfect food. It’s versatile. It tastes good hot or cold (IMO). And it usually involves CHEESE. I often joke at the shop that pizza should be it’s own category of food because I could eat it every day. Every. Single. Day.
Despite my love of all things pizza, I had only attempted making a cauliflower crust pizza once before. It had turned out just … OK (sigh). And more than that, it didn’t leave me or my tastebuds inspired enough to tinker with the recipe until we arrived at something tasty. I abandoned the idea and switched back to traditional dough pizzas without a second thought.
Fast forward to February 2016. And the advent of Instagram. Gorgeous food photos, goats, chickens and gardens fill my feed. I was scrolling through the posts recently and what did I see? A truly mouthwatering cauliflower pizza photo! A pizza worthy of a second chance.
Friends, this wasn’t like the time you rekindled a dead end romance with an ex that should have remained completely and permanently in the DNR relationship category. This was like the heart warming story of high school sweethearts who reconnect 40 years later, get married, win the lotto and travel the world on their private yacht. This pizza IS the equivalent of that reunion. So it is with a joy-seeking palette, full belly and forgiving heart that I share this recipe with you. Give it a chance!
Second Chance Cauliflower Pizza
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (or a combination of freshly grated mozzarella & parmesan)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz fig preserves
4 oz crumbled goat cheese
1 carton baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 shallots sliced thinly
1 3 ounce package thinly sliced prosciutto
1/4 cup pine nuts
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and place a pizza stone inside.
Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until crumbs remain – you may have to do this in batches. Pour all of the cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a paper towel. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove the cauliflower (careful! it’s HOT!) and spread it on a clean cotton kitchen towel to cool.
Once cool, wrap up the towel with the cauliflower inside and get your yoga arms ready to work! Over your sink wring it until every last bit of water and liquid seeps out. Think you’re finished? Wrong! Wring and squeeze again! Get ALL (or nearly all) of the moisture out. Place the cauliflower in a new large bowl. Add the cheeses, seasonings and spices and eggs, mixing with a silicone spatula until combined.
Form into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper roughly the size of your pizza stone. With your fingers, press the dough into a thin circle. Gently pick up the parchment paper (and crust) and place the entire thing on your pizza stone inside the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
While the crust is baking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and sauté the shallots and mushrooms. Set aside to cool.
Once the crust is golden, remove it and layer on the toppings. I start with a thin layer of the preserves, followed by the sautéed mushrooms and shallots. Then I sprinkle on the goat cheese, arrange the ribbons of prosciutto and top it with pine nuts. But really, make the pizza however you’d like! Very carefully transfer the pizza (again, still on parchment) back to the hot pizza stone inside your oven. Bake the pizza for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately!
Note: This is definitely more of a fork & knife pizza!