I can’t remember having ever met anyone who did not like pizza. For a long time it was one of the foods people with gluten intolerance missed the most as gluten free options used to be few and far apart. Luckily that is no longer the case. Even our favorite NYC pizza joint Rubirosa now has a gluten free tasty option, and the gluten free recipe combinations seem endless.
This gluten and grain free version is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a thin crust, crispy pizza and although most of the toppings can be varied I strongly recommend making it with pesto. The nutty flavor of pesto masks any hint of cauliflower and compared to tomato sauce there is no risk for sogginess. In addition, using a stretchy, stringy cheese like hard mozzarella or provolone for the crust as well as the topping really does make a difference, as other kinds of cheese can separate into curds and oil and create an oilier and less pliable pizza.
gluten free cauliflower pizza with pesto & smoked salmon
2 cups grated cauliflower
2 cups shredded hard mozzarella cheese
½ cup potato starch
2 large eggs
Put grated cauliflower in a towel or cheese cloth and squeeze out excess liquids. You should end up with about 1 1/2 cups dry grated cauliflower.
Mix cauliflower with grated cheese, potato starch and eggs. Blend until incorporated.
Split dough in two and flatten on to a baking sheet lined with baking paper. It will make two 10 x 7″ thin crusts.
Pre bake at 400F/200C for 15 minutes.
pesto (recipe below)
1 ½-2 cups shredded hard mozzarella cheese
1 small basket of cherry tomatos
½ cup black olives
Spread a thin layer of pesto on each pizza crust and cover with grated cheese.
Sprinkle with halved cherry tomatos and olives.
Bake at 400F/200C for 10 minutes.
4 oz sliced, smoked salmon
handfull of fresh basil leaves
a few handfulls of greens such as arugula and purslane
crushed black and pink pepper corns
Arrange cold toppings on pizzas and sprinkle with crushed black and pink pepper corns.
Makes two 10 x 7″ pizzas.
This pesto is a little dryer than traditional pesto making it perfect for pizza. However, it’s just as delicious and leftovers are good for any other pesto use.
2 cups packed basil leaves
½ cup roasted pine nuts
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1-2 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
salt to taste
Process basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and garlic in a food processor until all ingredients are blended and finely chopped.
Keep the processer on and slowly pour in the olive oil. Keep processing until pesto is fine and smooth.
Blend in salt and pepper to taste.
Makes about ¾ cups.
Photography by Philip Blankenship.