Cause seriously, who doesn’t love pizza?!! And cauliflower?!
So for those of you who don’t know, I am from an Italian background but grew up believing I was an Aussie – because I pretty much was. Everything about me seemed Aussie. I was raised speaking English, I associated with all stereotypical Aussie things (think Vegemite, milo, Weetbix, AFL, cricket, hot Christmases, bbqs, koalas, kangaroos) and was super proud to do so. I had light skin and hair, freckles and blue eyes, I ate sandwiches at school and was super sporty. My upbringing wasn’t anything like the traditional Italian kids who went to my school, who brought pasta, salami or olives for lunch, spoke Italian at home (but a southern dialect of it), lived with (or very close to) their “nonni” (who spoke zero english), had dark skin and dark hair. I didn’t associate with being Italian. I almost felt like my appearance hid my Italian identity and even though my name was Bianca Maria Gianna Fontana and the blood running through my veins was often more Italian that those who were traditionally Italian, no one ever knew. But I liked it this way. Was it because I wasn’t proud of my roots or was it because I secretly was but liked the fact that I was different from all the other Italian girls? Because it didn’t automatically label me as a “wog” and pigeonhole me for the rest of my school life?? (They all hung out together…for their ENTIRE high schooling experience!)
(Just to clarify that ‘wog’ is not a derogatory term in Australia. There’s even a TV show/film/play made in Australia called The Wog Boy!! It has really become a term of endearment and proud term more than anything)
So yeah, I was an Aussie at heart but there were definitely things that made me a little woggy. I grew up believing that the word for ‘poo’ was ‘caca’ and ‘grandma’ was ‘nonna’…these were normal words for me. I grew up eating pasta, olives and prosciutto and all the other traditional Italian foods at home. I grew up with half of my blood relatives living in Italy (grandparents, aunts, uncles and first cousins), not being able to communicate with some of them because they only spoke Italian. I grew up with my dad hanging salami in the garage, making home-made pasta, bottling tomato sauce and preserving things like olives. My favourite soft drink was chinotto. We put olive oil on everything. Sunday was all about church and family. Oh..and then there was pizza.
Everything really does come back to food when you’re Italian (or in my case Italo-Australian) and the number one food is pizza! My nonno (my dad’s dad) apparently opened the very first Italian pizzeria in the outer suburb of Melbourne, Dandenong. He and his brothers all worked there (I don’t think it was by choice) but it was here that my dad learnt how to make the most amazing pizza dough. Over the years, his mad skills in the kitchen came out and when he made pizza, it was incredible every time! I loved being involved in the making of the pizza, that being adding the toppings…the fun bit! I distinctly remember my dad being responsible for making the pizzas (dough) for Easter one year. My uncle built a wood fire oven and it was pizzas for lunch. Dad couldn’t remember how to make the dough and googled the recipe. He tried and tried and couldn’t get it right because he was using other people’s recipes. My mum said to him, “just do it like you remember, how you instinctively want to make them, without a recipe.” He trusted her, did it and they were incredible. We were all very happy (and full) that Easter.
So now that I’m gluten-free, I miss pizza. Finding pizza made from cauliflower means I no longer have to miss out on what was once one of my favourite meals AND it’s so easy to make that I eat it quite often at home. But I also don’t have to experience the bloat or hunger that often quickly follows for some people. This recipe I love and now make by memory (like my dad) and feel able to recreate the pizza without compromising on taste…it truly is like the real thing!
This recipe takes no time at all as long as you have a food processor (like every keen cook should have)! This is by far, one of my favourite recipes…did I mention that already??! Also, it’s low carb and plenty of good fats…as you can see here.
So to the recipe:
- 1 head of cauliflower (one head = one pizza)
- 2 large free range eggs
- 1/2 – 1 cup grated cheese of choice (I prefer mozzarella or cheddar and I grate myself)
- Italian herbs
- Garlic powder
- Cheesecloth or a tea towel
- Lots of cheese of choice 🙂
- Organic tomato paste or sauce of choice – sugar-free (check the labels)
- Any toppings you love…such as mushrooms, anchovies, olives, salami, prosciutto, onion, peppers, mozzarella balls, spinach etc
- Olive oil to drizzle on top
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Boil a pot of water on the stove and line a colander with the cheesecloth or tea towel.
- Rice the cauliflower in a food processor (a good food processor should take about 1 minute tops to do this).
- Put the riced cauliflower into boiling water for 2 mins.
- Strain the cauliflower into the colander. Then, using the cloth, squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can so the remaining cauliflower is a dry lump inside the cloth. N.B. The liquid is boiling so make sure you run cold water over it first!
- Put the cauliflower into a mixing bowl and add the eggs, cheese and herbs. Mix together until it forms a moist dough. N.B If you haven’t squeezed ALL the water out, adding two eggs will make the mix too moist and it will fall apart…so you could add one egg, then see how wet the mix is and then add another).
- Pour the mix onto a lined pizza tray and slowly work it into the shape that you want.
- Put in the oven for 8-10 mins or until you see it browning, just slightly, around the edges.
This is the fun bit!
- With the back on a spoon, spread the sauce over the pizza. I like to go right to the edges.
- Add the cheese. Be liberal about it.
- Add the mushrooms, olives, anchovies or whatever it is you love. N.B. If using prosciutto, don’t cook it but eat it raw, it is MUCH better!
- Finally, put the pizza in the oven and cook until the cheese has melted.
- Take out of oven, leave for a few minutes to cool slightly.
- Drizzle with some wonderful (organic) extra virgin olive oil.
- Cut into slices and EAT!!
Honestly, all up, this should take you about 30 mins and once you get the recipe in your head, you’ll probably do it even faster! You can rice up the cauliflower beforehand and store in the freezer, ready to go so you don’t have to fuss around with the processing bit.
I hope you love these pizzas as much as I do. I have made them for so many people now and most people say that you can’t even tell the difference. What’s more, it’s low carb, high fat, will keep you in ketosis and so filling. You will eat half a pizza and be so satisfied. Aaaannnndddd…it’s even better the next day for breakfast!!
Enjoy. Feel free to comment or share pics of your cauli pizza-making love below!
Love (and healthy fats) Bianca x