It seems that a blog for gluten free recipes would not hold its worth in, erm, almond flour, unless it had a cauliflower pizza crust recipe! This is by no means an original idea, and given that I rarely eat pizza it has taken me until now to try it out. I used the recipe to make cannelloni a few months back. It was delicious, and with a couple of spoons of, yes, almond flour added, the base was firm enough to hold slices and eat it like real pizza. I also added chia seeds – just because I do!
I used considerably less cheese than most recipes call for, but it was still so good.
I have also added my recipe for my marinara sauce, simple because I seem to make it at least once a week. Its a tasty staple to have in the fridge.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust and Marinara Sauce Ingredients: For the Marinara Sauce:
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 1 red and 1 green bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 whole head Garlic
- 200g vine ripened cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbs paprika
- 1/3 tbs dried italian mixed herbs
- 1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbs tomato puree
- 200mls vegetable stock (You can use any stock, even meat stock if you are paring the sauce with meat)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the Cauliflower Pizza Crust:
- 0.5 head cauliflower,
- 1 egg
- 1 tbs pesto (I used my coriander, basil and pistachio pesto)
- 1 tsp dried Italian mixed herbs
- 1 tbs chia seeds
- 3 tbs almond flour (You could use buckwheat, rice or gram flour for gluten free alternatives but the taste will be slightly altered)
- 25g extra mature cheddar cheese,finely grated
- 1 tbs parmesan cheese, finely grated
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Marinara Sauce:
- Preheat the oven to 190C. Cut the tomatoes in half and drizzle with a little oil and a sprinkling of salt
- Roast the tomatoes in the oven until soft and the skins have burst
- Heat the rest of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, leek, peppers, , and saute until lightly browned.
- Sir in the tomatoes,the black pepper, herbs, puree and the bay leaf. Pour over the stock.
- Slice the top off the head of garlic and submerge into the sauce.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered, for 20-30 minutes until vegetables have softened down
- Remove the head of garlic. The garlic inside should be soft. (Be careful as it will also be hot!) Place the garlic head on a chopping board and using a blunt knife or the side of a spoon, push the softened garlic out of the cut end.
- Mix into the sauce as much or as little of the garlic as you like to taste (I used it all)
- Turn up the heat and reduce the sauce down until thickened.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season to taste.
- Blitz in a blender to the consistency you want
- Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes well for up to 2 months.
For the Pizza Crust:
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper and spray with oil
- Break cauliflower into florets and blitz in a flood processor to a couscous-like consistency (you may need to do this in batches)
- Transfer to a large bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and cook the cauliflower in the microwave for 10 minutes until softened and sweetened. (You can steam or boil the cauliflower if you prefer). Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a piece of cheesecloth or a clean tea towel and squeeze to remove any excess water.
- Transfer back to the bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except the almond flour. Mix until well combined and a dough begins to form. It will be sticky
- Add the almond flour by spoonfuls until the dough is firm enough to form a ball
- Divide the mixture into the needed amount for the size of Pizza Crust you require.
- Form into a ball, and place onto the baking sheet. Cover with another sheet of baking paper and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a round shape, no less than a 1cm thick.
- Peel off the top later of baking paper and bake the pizza crust for 20 minutes until slightly browned, dry to touch and pliable (you may need to turn it over half way through cooking)
- Remove from the oven, spread with marinara sauce and add your toppings, return to the oven until the cheese is melted and golden.
- Allow to cook and serve immediately.