porcini & parmesan cauliflower crust pizza

fresh porcini mushrooms
fresh porcini mushrooms

it’s an exciting time of year when fresh porcini mushrooms come into season. this year, they’re a bit pricey, so while i’m not exactly buying them as the main ingredient for anything, i am enjoying giving them the spotlight on this new pizza crust i’ve been playing with.

in an effort to skew my diet more in the paleo direction without completely giving up on pizza, i went searching for alternative crusts, and found this one that completely busts out of the common gluten-free pitfall of substituting a million different flours for a dough that just isn’t all that great.

aside from being healthy, i think the thing i like best about this pizza is that it tastes pretty darn good, and can be made in minutes. if you rice an entire cauliflower head, it keeps well in the fridge whenever you want to whip up a pizza. no dough kneading or rising, the only thing you’ll be waiting for is your oven to preheat.

porcini & parmesan cauliflower crust pizza
porcini & parmesan cauliflower crust pizza

porcini & parmesan cauliflower crust pizza

2 cups riced cauliflower [first chop it, then rice it in a food processor]
3 eggs
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
olive oil, for drizzling

2 small porcini mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella [optional]
pesto [or your preferred condiment, optional]

preheat oven to 450º. place riced cauliflower in a mixing bowl with eggs, garlic and salt, and mix with a fork to break egg yolks and incorporate to a fairly uniform mixture. add almond meal, mix to incorporate, then coconut flour, mix to incorporate completely. you’ll have a fairly wet “dough” compared to any typical pizza crust, but this is normal for this type of crust. you will have enough dough to make 2 pizzas of about 8″ diameter.

place a piece of parchment over a cookie sheet or pizza pan at least 10″ wide. you may be tempted to use foil if you don’t have parchment, but don’t do this—this crust will lift effortlessly off parchment, but cook down and stick to foil. place half your cauliflower dough in the middle of the parchment and push and mold it with your hands into a pancake about 1/4″ thick and 8″ diameter. the dough moves and shapes easily, just keep pressing it out and shaping it until you like it. drizzle olive oil [or flavored oil] over the top, and spread with a brush or your fingertips. bake at 450º for 10 minutes to set the egg.

unlike traditional pizzas, this pizza has 2 baking phases: one to set the crust, above, and one to melt any cheeses or heat toppings through. once your first 15 minutes is done, remove the crust from the oven and spread half the parmesan cheese over the surface in a thin, even layer. this acts as a nice barrier for any wet ingredients, but you may add more for the love of cheese, if you like. then, layer half of the sliced porcini over the surface. finally, sprinkle half the mozzarella, if using, over the top. return the pizza to the oven for 10 more minutes, to melt and lightly cook the toppings.

once your cheeses are melted, finish the pizza any way you like. if you’re using condiments that don’t need oven baking, like pesto, soffrito or the like, add them at this phase. add any finishing salts or pepper here too.

repeat this process with the remaining half of your ingredients, or adjust the recipe so you can try 2 different toppings on each pizza. enjoy!

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