Isn’t this pizza pretty?? (Translation; can’t you extrapolate that it was pretty IRL even if it’s not particularly so in my blurry iPhone pic??) More importantly, it’s delicious. It tastes like fall and coziness…or really, it tastes like sausage, butter, and cheese. And not like squishy cauliflower! Which, let’s be real, is what most cauliflower crust kind of tastes like. The key is to add a couple tablespoons of flour–just that little bit makes the crust so much tastier and crispier. It reheats much better as well (which is an issue for freaks such as myself that don’t like cold pizza. If you’re like me, maybe you don’t know that the best way to reheat pizza is to put it in a skillet? Pro tip. No seriously, I think I read it in Bon Appetit or something.)
I have only the vaguest idea of the fat content and whatnot of this dish, but if you use low-fat mozzarella and butter substitute like I did, then I’m pretty sure that while this will taste really decadent, it’s not that bad for you at all. An excellent preparation for all the holiday meals ahead which will indeed be absolutely horrible for you.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza With Sausage, Sage, and Red Onions
1 small head of cauliflower
1/3 cup of low-fat shredded mozzarella
2 tbs shredded parmesan
1/2 tsp of dried basil
1/2 tsp of dried sage
Salt to taste
3 tbs flour
Oil spray (olive or nonstick)
1 tbs butter or butter substitute
1 tbs pumpkin (optional)
More shredded mozzarella
1-2 links spicy italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 a red onion, sliced
a few sprigs’ worth of sage leaves
Red pepper flakes
Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven, and preheat to 450ºF. Cut the florets off your head of cauliflower and pulse them in a food processor until it’s the consistency of couscous. Measure out 3 cups, and put in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave for 4 minutes, then turn out on a tea towel and let cool.
While the cauliflower is cooking, bring a skillet to medium heat and add the sausage, breaking it up into small chunks. Cook until browned, then let drain on a couple pieces of paper towel. Add the red onions to the skillet, cover, and let them cook in the sausage fat until tender, about 15 minutes.
When the cauliflower is cool, wring it in the tea towel until there’s very little water left. At this point there will be terrifyingly little cauliflower. Don’t worry! Add this to a bowl along with the cheeses, herbs, salt, and egg. Sprinkle the flour over and mix with a fork.
On a cutting board, spray a piece of parchment paper with a LOT of olive oil. Turn the dough onto this and spread it gently outward to make your crust shape. Slide the parchment paper off of the cutting board and onto the pizza stone. Bake for about 12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
While it’s baking melt a tbs of butter (I used Brummel and Brown butter substitute), and using a pastry brush, brush a bit of it very lightly onto your sage leaves. Then add a tbs of pumpkin puree (only if you have some lying around, really…I don’t condone breaking into a can of pumpkin just for this!) to the butter and mix.
When the crust is browned, lift it from the wax paper. Brush the top of the crust with the pumpkin-butter mix, then add a layer of cheese, onions, sausage, and lastly the sage leaves. Return to the oven for about 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sage is crispy. Remove and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Serves two.