Monthly Archives: June 2013

Cauliflower-base Pizza

pizza

I know. I know what you’re thinking. This sounds fundamentally wrong. Pizzas, by their very nature are meant to be indulgent, unvirtuous and altogether fun. What on earth was I thinking when I made a pizza base out of shredded cauliflower? Of all things, cauliflower?!

It’s not the spring-air getting to me. It was a moment of inspiration I received from an article in the Guardian Food feature. Although, I was working on some spreadsheets at the time, so frankly, even wet lettuce with garlic paste would have seemed an inspiring prospect.

So. I went ahead and added ‘cauliflower’ to my weekly organic veg box delivery. And then, cancelled it. Using my iPhone, on the commuter train home. Yes, it was that urgent. In the dark commuting reality of the day, I realised the craziness of it all.

But then… it haunted me. I felt defeatist. Like I’d just given up on the idea of that healthy pizza. So… last night I went to the supermarket and picked up a cauliflower (as well as enough pizza toppings to disguise the taste lest it turn out as badly as I had expected it might).

I made it. I ate it. Every last bit. And not because I heard the voices of the school dinner ladies telling me I ought, not because I heard my mother’s voice telling me it was good for me. I ate it because…. it was yummy. Really, truly, scrumptiously yummy.

cauliflower

Gluten-free cauliflower based pizza

(recipe, barely adapted from atalovestory.com)

For the crust:
1 medium sized cauliflower, grated or shredded
1 egg
150g goat’s cream cheese
For the tomato sauce:
1 onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
400g tinned plum tomatoes
fresh basil, handful
pizza toppings of your choice

1. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas6 and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. To make the crust, add the cauliflower to a pot of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain, then wrap in a teatowel and squeeze out any excess water.

3. In a bowl, mix the grated cauliflower with the cream cheese and egg, and season.

4. Spread the cauliflower mix across the baking tray and shape if you wish. Bake for approximately 30mins, or until firm and golden.

5. Whilst the crusts are baking, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and saute. Add teh garlic and stir briefly, then add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for about 20mins.

6. When the crusts are ready, spoon the tomato sauce over the top and spread evenly. Add toppings as desired (here I used baby spinach, parma ham, mushrooms, red peppers and mozzarella).

7. Bake for about 10mins until the cheese is golden/ toppings are just done.

pizza

 

Food, Glorious Food

Borough Market. Have I told you that I love you lately?

I do love you. For what else can stand strong beside the Thames, amidst the London smoke, beneath a cool spring day, atop well trodden cobbled streets and still host the most beautiful food party this city sees?

garlic

It is a beauty, the market. And the perfect antidote for despondency. (Not that I would ever eat my emotions of course. Ever. No… I would never do that. Gulp).

Food has the ability to nourish and revive, to alleviate the effects of a hard day, to bring people together in happy times and sad, to function as a perceived remedial filler for any holes we may experience. Food is fabulous; it can be a source of creativity or chaos, it is a way – for me at least – to re-connect with the abundance of nature and all that it offers. And it was important too, that I should re-connect with that essence this past week; for I did not make it to the finals of the ‘Taste Master’ competition and, gut-wrenchingly disappointed with the result, I needed to be reminded of the abundance of nature; teeming with life, people and possibility.

Whilst it does not serve us to be dependent on external things for fulfilment (for that fulfilment can surely only come from within); I am remembering how important it is to stay connected to the things we love. I have no new recipes to share with you today; just these thoughts.