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  • Recipe Redux: Cauliflower and Green Bean Pizza

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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    OK, before you decide that green beans on pizza can’t possibly be a thing, hear me out. This month’s Recipe Redux healthy pizza challenge was serendipitous. Having just returned from a trip to Europe, it was an amazing slice of pizza I had a bit off the beaten path from the tourist centers around the Vatican that inspired this recipe.

    Yes…green beans and potatoes…on Pizza…in Rome

    The impossibly perfect chewy and crunchy crust was topped with potatoes and fresh green beans (well, really they were haricot verts…very fancy French-bred thin baby green beans). This humble slice of pizza was one of the yummiest things I ate on that trip.

    As I contemplated recreating the pizza for the Redux challenge, I decided that I would use pureed cauliflower, a pretty common trick for reducing the calories and upping the nutrition as a replacement for mashed potato…let’s call them mashed fauxtatoes.

    If you’ve never tried this trick, Oh. My. Goodness. You would never know they aren’t potatoes. I am SO not kidding! I could, like, literally eat an entire batch in one sitting. And, I’m pretty darned convinced that even the most seasoned mashed potato connoisseur could not be convinced that they aren’t potatoes.

    My first crack at this one didn’t even come close to the pizza I was attempting to emulate. I had over-roasted the cauliflower, added too much garlic and overall it was too dry. Back to the drawing board. On the next iteration of the recipe, I decided to forgo roasting the cauliflower in favor of steaming it and pureeing it with a bit of low-fat cottage cheese and a few herbs and spices.

    now we’re talking!

    Green Bean and Cauliflower Pizza_Kindred-Kitchen2

    My husband did point at that what I presented to him didn’t qualify as real pizza according his pizza-loving sensibility. No sauce? No cheese? Well, ok, I’ll give him that.

    So, call it a flatbread, if you must

    Since it’s almost impossible (ok, let’s say quite a challenge) to achieve a pizza-parlor crust at home, I typically use an already made crust. I used a great gluten free crust I found in the freezer section of my local natural grocer for this one. Certainly if you have cracked the code to making really great pizza crust at home, by all means, use that (any chance you’d share your secret?). Won’t tell a soul…promise.

    A few tips. First, the higher the horsepower of the blender or food processor, the better, you want the puree to be smooth and creamy, since you aren’t using a sauce. Second, if you have pesto lying around the kitchen, I think it would be a great substitute for the olive oil that’s used in this recipe. Lastly, if you really can’t bear the thought of very little cheese on a pizza (this one uses only 1/3 of a cup of pecorino and 1/2 a cup of low fat cottage cheese (which may not be considered cheese in your world)), add a couple of slices of low or reduced-fat provolone (I’ve tried this variation and it was pretty tasty).

    I am hoping that once you’ve tried this pizza, you’ll be convinced that veggie pies can be as delicious as meat-laden versions and that they can incorporate more than just mushrooms, peppers, onions and spinach.

    What kinds of creative veggie pizzas have you made at home?

    Green Bean and Cauliflower Pizza_Kindred-Kitchen10

    Recipe Redux: Cauliflower and Green Bean Pizza

    servings: 3-4 | time: about 30 minutes

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    ingredients:

    1/2 of a large head of cauliflower

    2 tsp. dried parsley (or 4 TBSP of fresh)

    1/4 tsp. garlic powder

    a couple of pinches of fresh ground black pepper

    1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese

    2 TBSP. olive oil

    1 12-inch pizza crust (I used a frozen pre-made gluten free crust)

    1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese

    6 ounces baby green beans (hericot verts)-fresh or frozen

    Red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 1 tsp.)

    directions:

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees

    1. Chop the cauliflower into florets and add to a covered saucepan. Add 3 TBSP. water, cover and simmer (steam) until very tender (about 7 minutes)

     

    2. Drain the cauliflower and add to the container of a high-powered blender or food processor

     

    3. Add the parsley, garlic powder, black pepper, cottage cheese and 1 TBSP. of the olive oil

     

    4. Puree or process on medium until very smooth (you will want to scrape the sides of the processor bowl, or, if you are using a blender, use the tamper)

     

    5. Spread the pureed cauliflower evenly over the pizza crust. Sprinkle the grated pecorino over top

     

    6.  Top with the green beans and sprinkle red pepper flakes to taste. Drizzle the remaining 1 TBSP. olive oil and bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes or until the crust is golden and the green beans are tender

    comments:

    18 responses to “Recipe Redux: Cauliflower and Green Bean Pizza”

    1. I think the combination of flavours on this pizza are a winner. I agree with you about the power of your blender, I have made cauliflower mash before and used a regular potato masher and the result was less than desirable!!

      • seriously….I didn’t “get” what all the fuss was about around cauliflower mash (and couldn’t understand how anyone could be fooled by it)…until I got a blender that can really puree. Now I TOTALLY get it!

    2. So creative! I’ve been looking for GF pizza crust options. I will definitely try yours.

      • Hi Jill–I used a frozen store-bought crust. I’m pretty sure it’s local, so unless you’re in the pacific northwest, you probably won’t find it. I’ve heard that Udi’s is the best one out there right now….

    3. We can definitely call this a pizza 🙂 I had potato pizza when I was in Italy but never saw it with the green beans – sounds delish and love your version!

    4. I love what you did here- I don’t think your husband is allowed to complain since you made him such a beautiful pie! Sometimes pizza without sauce and cheese can tantalize your tastebuds. I am sure this was delicious!

      • 🙂 Marisa…my husband does very little complaining and would be the first to admit that he eats pretty well around here…he just likes to ‘yank my chain’ sometimes. He makes for some good blog posts 🙂 (for the record…he loved this pizza!)

    5. This looks great – I haven’t done much with cauliflower lately but it’s definitely a popular vegetable right now!

    6. Love the idea of green beans on a pizza! I’ve also made a GF “crust” out of cauliflower itself, mixed in with cheese & some seasonings. Tasty option if folks can’t easily find pre-made GF crusts.

    7. I love all the ingredients in this pizza. I have to saw when I first saw the photo I thought it was a little strange but I love green beans so I had to click. Now that I have read the post and gawked at the photos a little longer I have decided this is something I must make and pinned it right away! YUM!

    8. @Chrystal…oh, it’s a little strange, but somehow it works! 🙂 Let me know what you think (especially if you put your own spin on it!)

    9. What a wonderful combo of ingredients. Cauliflower is so “in” right now, and I love how you used it as a base for your pizza. Delish!

    10. I love this! Looks delicious and so creative! I’m the opposite of your husband- I love flatbreads over pizza. Flatbread are just so much more creative 🙂

    11. Sarah Grace says:

      Wow I absolutely love the idea of the cauliflower puree! Such a unique twist to a pizza sauce!

      xoxo, Sarah Grace

    12. Your fauxtatoes made me laugh. I make a white bean puree that my partner calls fauxtatoes (and loves), so I would probably use that instead of the cauliflower puree because that way I wouldn’t need any cheese in it to get it smooth (I need it dairy free). But I like the idea of beans on a pizza too. Nice.

      • While I’d love to take credit for “fauxtatoes”, it was my husband who offered it up as part of his review of the recipe. I have to admit, it cracked me up, so I just had to share it (and assumed that he could not have been the first person to use the term :)). I don’t think you’d need the cheese to make the cauliflower as smooth as I did with the addition of the cottage cheese. Just a few drops of water or veggie broth would do the trick.

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