So, technically, this is a Whole30 recipe but you can easily amend it with some cheesy goodness if you’re looking for a little more decadence in your life.
Personally, as we approach the one-year anniversary of the first pandemic lockdown, I’m past decadence and I’m just looking for the will to live – which I’ve often found in the shape of a thick slab of mozzarella. Or a thick slab of a man. Less of the latter these days, unfortunately.
There have been a number of articles about the importance of physical touch and sex for mental health as we singletons soldier on in isolation. What even is affection? I find myself giving the concrete pillars in my condo tender caresses and casting flirtatious glances at my new media console like it’s the Duke of Hastings in furniture form.
If you don’t know who the Duke of Hastings is, get your shit together and watch Bridgerton on Netflix – it’s the closest I’ve come to bodice-ripping passion in over a year.
I’m sure my will to live will be more fully restored – outside of binge-eating cheese – when we can all return to making out with complete strangers at bars. There will likely be a number of approaches to the post-vaccine freedoms, some folks will tread lightly – slowly returning to their daily activities, others, like me, will flock to the nearest dancehall to bathe in other people’s sweat and hot, unmasked breath.
In the meantime, I’ll have to keep myself company with my pillars, my console, and my cauliflower. I will say, when I posted a snapshot of this dish on my Instagram stories, there were some STRONG opinions. Such as, “Ew” from frequent blog reader Elaine. I see you Elaine.
Others felt, “You RUINED IT with the arugula.” While some (read: more enlightened) viewers said, “YUM! Can’t wait to get the recipe.”
And you know what friends? Just because you see it on the blog or in my feed, does not mean you have to put it in your mouth. When it comes to putting things in your mouth, consent is ALWAYS the first ingredient.
So, make this cauliflower pizza with basil pesto and potatoes, or don’t. Fully commit to the hermit life post-vaccine or rush forth into the universe and stick your tongue down someone’s throat (consensually, of course), or don’t. Do what feels right.
For what it’s worth, this pizza may be dairy and gluten free but it’s overflowing with flavour and it’s goddamn delicious.
Cauliflower Pizza with Basil Pesto and Potatoes
- 1 large head cauliflower about 3 cups roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 3/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves smashed
- 2 cups basil
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 3-6 tbsp olive oil until desired texture
- 1 large Yukon gold potato thinly sliced
- 2 tsp ghee
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 3 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 cups baby arugula
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In the large bowl of a food processor, pulse cauliflower until pureed the size of rice. Add to a large mixing bowl. Use a paper towel to press cauliflower well and remove any moisture. Then, add almond flour, thyme, sea salt and freshly ground pepper; mix. Fold in beaten eggs until mixture is well combined. Shape into a ball and refrigerate for 20 minutes
While crust is chilling, in the small bowl of your food processor make the pesto. First add pine nuts and garlic until fine. Pulse together basil, lemon juice and zest until gritty. Stream in olive oil while blending until pesto reaches desired consistency – it should yield about 1/3-1/2 cup.
Once crust has chilled, add to a parchment-lined baking sheet using your hands to shape into a crust.
Parbake your crust for 25 minutes. While the crust is partaking, set a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add 2 tsp ghee (or butter) and layer in the thinly sliced potatoes once ghee has melted. Drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil. Cook for 7 minutes, reducing heat if potatoes are browning too quickly, then flip and cook for another 7 minutes. Remove potatoes into a bowl and, to the same pan, add the thinly sliced garlic, cooking until fragrant about 30 seconds to 1 minute, remove from heat.
When crust has parbaked for 25 minutes, remove from oven and begin adding toppings. First layer sliced garlic along the bottom of the crust. Then, add a thick layer of pesto. Top with potatoes.
Bake for 7-9 minutes. Then, add oven to broil and return pizza to oven for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
Remove from oven and allow pizza to cool slightly. Then, top with bacon and baby arugula.
Cauliflower Crust recipe adapted from Gartland, Julia. “Green Cauliflower Pizza with Heirloom Tomatoes, Prosciutto & Pesto.” Sassy Kitchen. October 2014.