Spring Veggie White Pizza with Crispy Cauliflower Crust



Current status: high-diving into this cheesy pile of veggies.

I hate to play favorites, but spring veggies really rev me up. Somethin' about the freshness of the spring greens after a cold winter of hearty root vegetables that gets me hoppier than an Easter bunny (<-- why must I). Just gimme all the leeks, artichokes, peas and asparagus and my heart is muy contento.

Speaking of... I've noticed asparagus has a tendency of dividing people into lovers and haters. This is particularly hard for me to understand as I like to STALK up (again, why) on the little green guys and my heart literally cracks open when I hear someone is just not a fan. But nevertheless, the haters leave more bundles of joy in the produce section, so in the end I 'preciate ya. We can still be friends (...just not besties). Sorry.

I'm not gonna lie, as much as I try to eat healthily I always get pulled astray by the mighty mighty 'za. The magical, powerful force of pizza is so enchanting that I physically cannot resist. I obviously didn't when I made these personal pita pizzas or this butternut squash flatbread (code word: pizza). Since it's probably not the best idea to eat it every time I crave it (3-5x daily... fyi) sometimes I have to settle for substitutes - enter: the cauliflower crust. Crispy, seasoned and a wee bit cheesy (something we have in common tbh), the cauli crust can truly be cherished for its dough-like properties. Now don't get me wrong... this is not going to replace your NY-style by any means. It will definitely be doughy, but you might have to bust out the fork and knife (the horror, I know) but your tastebuds will still be dancing the night away.

The key here is to squeeze every single last drop of moisture out of the cauliflower that you can... and then squeeze it again. The less moisture you have, the crispier your crust. Less moisture=less mush. Pre-baking your crust also helps to crisp it up and a thin layer of whipped ricotta will keep it from getting soggy as well. Once you have the crust down, you can swap out your sauce and toppings to make this your own. Have fun!

... andddd the pizza cravings return.

spring veggie white pizza cauliflower crust gluten free

Spring Veggie White Pizza with Crispy Cauliflower Crust (GF)
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins (pre-bake crust) + 15-20 mins | Makes 1 medium pizza

Ingredients
cauliflower crust
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 3/4 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
spring veggie toppings
  • 1 leek, tops removed (keep white part only), cleaned and sliced 
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, ends removed, 1/2" slices on the diagonal 
  • 3/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts 
  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella, divided
  • 3/4 cup whipped ricotta (below)
whipped ricotta sauce
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • salt & pepper, to taste
special equipment: parchment paper (for crispy crust)

The Steps
  1. Make the cauliflower crust: Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a baking sheet inside while it preheats. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until you have a crumb or "snow" texture. Place the cauli snow into a microwave-safe bowl and cook in micro for 5 minutes. Once cooked, spread out on clean kitchen towel and let cool. Wrap into towel and squeeze out all the water you can, take a break and then squeeze it again. The drier the better! 

  2. Place dry cauliflower crumbs into large bowl (can be same one from mic if it's cool) and combine with beaten eggs, shredded mozzarella, and all seasonings. Combine with hands into ball. Place large piece of parchment paper down and press out dough to form a pizza crust (make sure you keep in mind the size & shape of your baking sheet - this will transfer onto it!). I found a 1/4" thick crust worked best to stay together & be crispy. Remove (hot) baking pan from oven and carefully place parchment paper and crust onto sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

  3. Make whipped ricotta: While your crust bakes, make whipped ricotta by combining all ingredients into food processor and "whipping" until smooth, about 2 minutes. Ricotta will be light, fluffy and spreadable - season to taste & set aside.

  4. Top your pizza crust: Once crust has cooked, carefully remove parchment paper and crust from oven, leaving hot baking pan in while you top the pizza. Top crust with whipped ricotta, spreading thinly, then 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, followed by chopped veggies. Top with remaining cheese and carefully transfer back onto hot baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly!
If you make this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, let me know what you think + be sure to tag any pictures with @TheSavvySpoon or #TheSavvySpoon on Instagram!

xoxo
Cay

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