1820 – Eighteen hundred, and twenty PIZZAS! I figure that’s how many I’ve made in the last 30 years. Conservatively. Every Thursday has been Paladini Pizza Night as long as John and I have been married, so I’ve made at least a pizza a week for all those years – and that’s not counting the hundreds of pizzas I made before that when I worked at Circus Pizza 40 years ago.
I’ve seen some changes in the pizza world. We’ve gone beyond mama’s traditional pizza. Now we have pesto, barbecue sauce, and ranch dressing…bacon, chicken and garlic…pineapple, fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, and broccoli… My daughter even sprinkles whole kernel corn on hers.
So what could be new under the Italian-American sun?
That’s Italian for Cauliflower.
Cauliflower crust pizza!
Since I have reached “middle age” and begun keeping company with my Fitbit and Fitness Pal, I’ve been trying to find loopholes in my cooking to cut calories and improve nutrition, but still taste delicious. And this cauliflower pizza fits the bill!
Wash and dry and chop 1 large head of cauliflower.
Put it in your blender to rice it. (Someone told me that Trader Joe’s sells packages of riced cauliflower if you want to save yourself the trouble of grinding it.)
Cook the riced cauliflower in the microwave until it is very soft.
Mash out the juice. I usually start early enough in the day so it can drain in a colander, and then I can press it till it is almost dry.
(I gave this recipe to my brother, Brian, and he put the cooked cauliflower into his juicer then threw away the juice and kept the remaining fiber. Way easier, but I don’t have a juicer.)
When the mashed cauliflower is cool or lukewarm, mix in 1 teaspoon of salt and two eggs.
Spoon it onto parchment paper on a pizza cooking screen, and shape it into a circle like a pizza crust.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 400° until the bottom is starting to brown. If you want, you can remove it from the parchment paper and put it directly on your pizza screen.
Brush the top with pesto, or the pizza sauce of your choice.
Sprinkle with cheese, and top with toppings of your choice.
Bake again at 400° until cheese is well melted and veggies are cooked (usually about 15 minutes)
Brian, who worked at Circus Pizza with me, says this is the best pizza he has ever eaten. If I am completely honest, I have to say I still prefer my regular French bread crust pizza. But this is a wonderfully guilt-free and healthy alternative! It’s here to stay in the Paladini Kitchen.