Anna Jones' cauliflower pizza recipe is amazing but it helps not to think of it as a traditional pizza. I've made it countless times and although I love bread based pizzas, this cauliflower alternative means I get to eat loads without feeling guilty afterwards. It really is delicious and, to me at least, it doesn't feel like much of a compromise.
My first attempt was somewhat lacklustre but showed promise. The original recipe suggests using half a tin of chopped tomatoes, basil and olive oil for the sauce but I found that the chopped tomatoes didn't really cut it. Instead I now make a big batch of strong tomato sauce (enough for three pizzas) and freeze the leftovers to use later. The sauce doesn't take long to make and because it gets blended using a stick blender there's no need to finely chop anything so it's pretty effortless. If you don't have a stick or countertop blender then you'll need to finely dice the onions and garlic.
My favourite toppings include black olives, fresh basil, goat's cheese, pesto and the controversial pineapple but use whatever you like. I'm greedy when it comes to portion sizes but I find that this pizza is satisfying for two to share.
Note: This recipe requires a food processor.
Additional note: Anna Jones' vegetarian cookbook is an absolute favourite of mine. I've been using it for just under a year and it contains some incredible recipes, in particular the 'proper chilli', 'ribollita' and 'lemon lentil soup'. I can't recommend it enough.
For the base:
- Preheat your oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper (my tray is 44cm by 30cm) and drizzle over some oil.
- Blitz the oats in the food processor briefly and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Chop the cauliflower into small florets and process in the food processor until you have fine crumbs (I have to do this in batches as my food processor is small).
- Tip the cauliflower into the bowl with the oats and add the ground almonds and dried oregano. Give everything a good stir and season with salt and pepper.
- Make a well in the middle of the cauliflower mixture and pour in the eggs. Mix until everything comes together. The dough will feel wet and won't be stretchy like regular pizza dough.
- Place the dough onto the oiled baking tray and flatten it out until it's about 0.5cm thick and slightly thicker around the edges.
- Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until it just starts to colour.
While the dough is baking make the pizza sauce:
- Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil to the pan.
- Roughly slice the red onion and garlic cloves and fry them until they start to soften. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Add the tinned tomatoes to the saucepan along with the vinegar, tomato purée, oregano and basil.
- When the sauce starts to bubble, season and taste it.
- Blend with a stick blender until smooth then divide into three portions (two to be used later). The extra portions can be frozen.
To finish the pizza:
- Increase the oven temperature to 240°C.
- Remove the pizza base from the oven and pour over the pizza sauce spreading it right to the edges.
- Add the toppings, tear over the mozzarella and finish with fresh basil. Drizzle over extra olive oil if desired.
- Place back into the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese starts to turn golden brown.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and divide into slices. Take care when removing the slices as they can be delicate. I use a fish slice or a long turner to transfer them to pre-warmed plates.