In the spirit of fall - and in the spirit of pizza - here's a delicious way to start the week!
We whipped this up a couple of weeks back for a dinner gathering with our lovely neighbor, and as promised, here's the recipe [finally]. Who knew? Packing to move across the country is time-consuming. ;) Sorry for the delay!
This gluten-free cauliflower crust is a gamechanger. There are a ton of gluten-free pizza crust recipes out there, many incorporating cheese or eggs or general goopiness that ends in more of a pizza mush than the sturdy crust of a traditional wheat crust. Thanks to the quinoa in here (you can buy premade quinoa flour, or toast and grind your own), the crust gets nice and crispy in the oven -- and the cauliflower provides a nice bulkiness that we'd otherwise expect from a fluffy gluten-tastic dough.
Top it with roasted veggies and a homemade squash-garlic puree (instead of tomato sauce or Alfredo) and you have a pretty darn yummy seasonal treat. Instead of parmesan or pizza cheese, I've used nutritional yeast, which is an inactive yeast with a distinctly cheesy taste. You can find it at most health food stores.
Save some time by having a squash pre-roasted: you'll use half in your sauce and half as a topping. The recipe, otherwise, takes about an hour and a half.. it's a little more involved than many of the recipes I share on here, as there are just a few more steps: crust, sauce, toppings... It might be better suited to a casual weekend dinner than a hectic weeknight. (But hey, make it whenever you want -- if you manage to have any leftovers, they'll keep for 1-2 days in the fridge).
Let me know if you try this out and which toppings you go for! The kale, onion and cubed squash can be swapped out for whatever you like.
- *Pizza Crust
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 1 cup quinoa flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 5 tbsp flax meal
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp each: basil, oregano, parsley, and other herbs of your choice dried or fresh
- *Pureed Squash Sauce
- One half of a butternut squash, roasted
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup roasted squash (use the other half of the squash above)
- 3 cups kale, sliced into ribbons
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- Pizza Crust
- 1. Preheat the oven to 425F. (*If cooking squash newly for this recipe, instead of using a batch you’ve previously roasted, now is the time to cut and empty your squash, lightly oiling the cut surface before placing it cut-side down on a baking sheet. You’ll pop this in the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes while you prep everything else.)
- 2. Stir flax meal into water and allow to gel for at least 5 minutes.
- 3. Break cauliflower into florets and steam in a steamer basket for about 2 minutes.
- 4. Transfer to a food processor. Pulse 5 or 6 times to create a fine ‘snow’, ensuring all large chunks are broken up. Use a paper towel or cloth to remove excess moisture from your cauliflower by placing a fistful of cauliflower into the cloth, bunching it up and squeezing. Transfer squeezed cauliflower to a large bowl. Repeat until all cauliflower is squeezed.
- 5. Add flax mixture, quinoa flour, nutritional yeast, herbs, spices and s + p.
- 6. Mix thoroughly, then spread the mixture into an unlined baking sheet that you’ve greased lightly (ie. with an olive oil mister). At this time, you should also place your kale and onions on a separate baking sheet.
- 7. Transfer your crust and the veggie tray to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. The crust's edges will start to brown; that’s when you’ll remove everything.
- 8. In the meantime, heat oil in a medium skillet. Toss in your garlic and Italian seasoning once it’s glistening and sautée about 2 minutes until fragrant.
- 9. Remove your squash from the oven and use tongs to hold it carefully. Scoop the insides of one half of your squash into your skillet and combine with the garlic and oil. Allow this to cook together for about a minute before adding white wine. Cook down for another few minutes, until most of the alcohol is evaporated.
- 10. Transfer to a blender and add nutritional yeast and s + p. Blend until smooth, adding water a little at a time until it reaches a pasty consistency. You don’t want it to become too runny, lest you have a soggy pizza.
- 11. Cube your remaining roasted squash. Don’t burn your fingers.
- 12. By this point, your crust should be a little browned. Remove it from the oven (turn down your oven temperature to 350F). Layer crust with squash sauce, followed by your cubed squash, kale and onions. Return the tray to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes until onions look done: that’s a good barometer that your crust is cooked through.
- 13. Remove from the oven, slice and serve.
- Save time by having a squash pre-roasted on hand. I like to do a whole one at the beginning of the week and use it in different dishes every few days.