Weekend. Sam came down from her room and, as usual, while I was in the kitchen, she commandeered my iMac, browsed Pinterest, saw a vegetarian pizza with cauliflower crust and asked if I could make one for her. The girl challenges me. She truly does. When she asks me to cook something outside my comfort zone, my immediate response is to say yes. Why, I am not sure. One possible reason (perhaps, the more obvious one) is that I want to feed Sam the best vegetarian food I can provide. The second (and less obvious reason) is that I cannot accept that there is anything in the world that I can’t cook and cook well.
This second reason, I don’t articulate too often as it makes me feel too driven. But I know me. And I know that the second reason is a philosophy that I live by. If it weren’t so, why else would I have strived to learn how to bake (I didn’t know much about baking until the last decade), how to make bread, how to make pizza crust and even how to make ice cream from scratch?
So, I made the cauliflower crust for Sam’s vegetarian pizza. It wasn’t exactly difficult but the process consisted of several steps. When it was finally done, Sam asked why it was so small. I told her that was the yield of one head of cauliflower and it was just for her anyway. We carnivores were having something else.
To make the cauliflower pizza crust, cut the cauliflower into florets then grind in a food processor (I used a mini-chopper).
Steam the cauliflower, cool then transfer to a cheesecloth. Wrap and wring out all the water.
Next, mix the cauliflower with cheese (I used a Colby-cheddar combo and Parmesan), a bit of salt and pepper, ground dried basil and oregano.
Form the mixture into a ball then flatten to a disc in tray brushed with olive oil. As an added precaution, I lined the baking tray with non-stick paper.
Bake the cauliflower crust in a 525F oven for 10 minutes until the underside is lightly browned.
Take it out of the oven, smother with tomato sauce, top with mozzarella and whatever other cheeses you want to add. Throw in slices of bell peppers and onions too. Bake for another five minutes and it’s done.
For us carnivores, I cooked a homemade version of KFC’s chizza or chicken-crusted pizza that is only available in the Philippines but which has already been the topic of so many news articles and food blog posts abroad.
Speedy ate his chicken-crusted pizza with as a sandwich; I had mine with brown rice.