Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pesto Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes (Grain-free, Vegan)

I can't begin to explain how excited I am about this recipe. It basically made my whole weekend. Sad, I know. But to have finally come up with a grain-free pizza recipe that is ALSO vegan....and tastes amazing? I mean, yeah. Made my weekend. So much that my husband and I made this first Friday night, and then again on Saturday. (And this wasn't eating leftovers. This was remaking from scratch).

Pizza has always been a favorite of mine (I mean, who doesn't love it?) But it also is something I have had to cut out of my diet since the tummy does not handle it well. So I'm sure you can understand my excitement with this new recipe.


The secret ingredient to this grain-free pizza is cauliflower. There are many cauliflower pizza crust recipes out there but they always turn out too mushy or soggy. After much trial and error, I am happy to have found one that both my husband and I enjoyed so much that we made it two nights in a row. And I can't wait to eat it again. And agian. And again......


PESTO PIZZA WITH ROASTED TOMATOES

Pizza Crust:

1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and sliced
2 tablespoons of almond flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon of oregano or favorite Italian seasoning
Pinch of salt
Makes 1 personal-size pizza crust (about 4 slices)

Pizza topping:
Vegan Pesto (can make ahead)
4 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved (I used red and yellow)
1 shallot, sliced
Olive oil
Salt
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese (I use Daiya which melts great!)

Start by roasting your tomatoes (which you can make ahead if you want, even a day or two). Toss tomatoes and shallot with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread out evenly on a cookie sheet and roast in oven at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and chard in spots. Set aside.

The cauliflower "dough" after it has been squeezed of all the excess liquid.

Next make your pizza crust. (My crust recipe is inspired from detoxinista.com, a great food blog with tons of healthy recipes and nutritional tips. My version however is vegan and tweaked a bit). Add your sliced cauliflower pieces into a food processor and pulse until the consistency of rice. (You will probably need to do this in batches unless you have a gigantic food processor). Next, in a large pot, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cover. Let cook on medium for about 5 minutes and drain into a fine mesh strainer. Let it sit in the strainer for a few minutes to cool off as it will be really hot for the next step.

Now pour the drained cauliflower into a clean dish towel and twist it up, squeezing (I mean SQUEEEEZING) all of the moisture out. (Be careful because it will be very hot unless you let it cool beforehand.) You should eliminate a lot of water. This is the secret trick to making the cauliflower crust actually work. The more water you eliminate, the crisper the crust. (This is where most recipes for cauliflower crust have failed. If you don't squeeze the water out, you will get a soggy crust that falls apart when you try and pick it up). After you squeeze out all the water, you should be left with something that resembles a cauliflower "dough" rather than "riced" cauliflower.


Next, add the almond flour, egg, seasoning and salt. Mix with your hands well until everything is well distributed. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and add the dough on top. Form a circular shape or rectangle (however you want your pizza to look) that is about 1/3 of an inch thick. Make the edges a little higher so you have a more of a "crust" look. Bake for about 38 minutes on 400 degrees, or until golden and crisp around the edges.


Now doesn't that look great!? 


Next spread the pizza with Vegan Pesto (I didn't put an exact measurement since you can add as much or little as you like....I like a lot. Obviously).


Next add your vegan mozzarella cheese. (Side note: if you have not yet tried Daiya Vegan Cheese, you will be pleasantly surprised how well it melts and subs for regular mozzarella. My husband (someone who is FAR from a vegan) had his first taste of melted Daiya this weekend and started making nachos as a pre-dinner snack while impatiently waiting for the pizza to be done. Needless to say he was a fan.)


Add your roasted tomato and shallot mixture on top of the cheese and then add some more mozzarella on top. Return to the oven at 400 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes or so. Remove from oven, slice and serve! 

4 comments:

Unknown said...

Sooo glad you tried this out. I have been searching for a cauliflower crust recipe, and this looks amazing. I'll def try it soon. Thanks, Jax -Nicole

Jacqueline Albir said...

It's so good! Hence why we re-made it all weekend long :) Let me know how it turns out!

Xx

The Wordy Girl said...

I have slowly but surely joined this foodie revolution and want to test this out. Which begs the question: Do you have any "califlower rice" recipes to share?

Jacqueline Albir said...

Yes! I have two great recipes that use "cauliflower rice". First my Mexican Rice Bowls: http://www.secretsofafoodie.com/2012/07/mexican-rice-bowls.html

And also, Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers: http://www.secretsofafoodie.com/2012/09/mediterranean-stuffed-peppers.html

- J
Xx