Broccoli Crust Pizza

Wide Island View

By Carlye Hodel

If you are anything like me, the winter months you’ve spent in hibernation  have  not only bestowed upon you a healthy plumpness, but also a strong addiction to unhealthy foods which have helped you cope with Japan’s harshest season and the dreaded “STAGE-2” feels. To help wean myself off my glutinous rituals I’ve found making healthy substitutes to be the best bet. This way I can have my broccoli and eat pizza too!

INGREDIENTS: 

Crust

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large head of cauliflower or broccoli, grated.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg

Toppings- Change it up and top your pizza with whatever you want!

  • 1/4 store bought pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella Cheese, as much or as little as you want
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 3 slices salami/pepperoni chopped
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves

Optional

  • Bottle of wine…do as the Romans do?! Salute! Cin cin!

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (230 degrees C).
  • Cover a cookie sheet or oven tray with a piece of parchment paper. Using a paper towel dab a bit of olive oil onto the parchment paper. This is your non-stick agent. So, make sure that there is a light coating of olive oil covering the entire radius of where you will soon place your pizza dough.
  • Using a cheese grater, hold the broccoli by its neck and grate off the florets. Or, using a food processor cut the florets from the neck of the cauliflower and pulse the food processor. You want the broccoli florets to be the texture of thick grains of sand, or couscous. You should have about 2 cups of shaved broccoli.
  • In a microwavable safe bowl, heat the broccoli grains for 4 minuets. Let cool.
  • ** Optional ** Once cooled, place the shaved broccoli in a paper towel or a thin cloth and wring out the remaining moisture. This creates a more realistic tasting dough, but in my opinion it is not a necessary step for delicious pizza.
  • Add the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic powder and red pepper- mix evenly.
  • Next, add in the mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and egg – mix together using your hands.
  • Mold your broccoli dough into a ball. Place in the center of the oiled parchment paper. Then using your hands evenly spread your pizza dough into your desired pizza shape and crust thickness. Having your dough at about 1/5-1/4 inch thickness is optimal for an evenly cooked crispy crust.
  • Bake the crust for 10-15 min, until the dough is golden brown.
  • Open bottle of wine, enjoy a glass as you wait….
  • Remove the dough from the oven and add your desired toppings. I start with the sauce, add a bit of cheese, then the toppings, and finally end with more cheese and red pepper flakes.
  • When finished throwing on your toppings, place your pizza back in the oven. Cook for about 8-10 min, until your cheese has reached your preferred bubbly golden goodness.
  • Continue sippin’ that wine, or pour another glass…
  • Remove your scrumptious pizza from the oven. Garnish pizza with fresh basil (I use a pair of clean scissors and simply snip off 1/4 inch bits of the leaves directly onto the pizza).
  • Let cool, and enjoy!