Roasted Pear and Caramelized Onion Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust (Gluten Free, Grain Free)

cauliflower pizza with caramelized onion and pear_blog
Do you experience pumpkin carving anxiety?

Would you say that it’s mild, moderate or extreme?

Mine has definitely diminished over the years largely thanks to my sons’ coming of age and an eventual admission that I am in no way gifted at the task.  It turns out that I didn’t have to speak the words, they figured it out all on their own (kids can be smart that way).

It seems my pumpkins look pretty much the same every year. Two undersized eyes, an awkward mouth and one hanging tooth (some years I’ve had to toothpick the tooth on there). A fiercely inventive presentation. And then there’s our beloved neighbour — the one who refers to every plant in his garden by its Latin name — who arrives home at 5 pm ritualistically on the 31st and turns mode pieces fit for a Martha Stewart shoot out onto his front porch within an hour — all without breaking a sweat. At least 3 new creations every year and never one repeat.

Funny the things you miss.

~~~~~

So, when was the last time you sank your teeth into a cauliflower pizza crust?

I thought so.

This recipe exceeded my expectations in every respect.  I was sold on the nutrition aspect of this grain-free substitute but was not prepared for the simplicity, functionality and surprisingly good taste.  It actually works and it works well! I have my friend Sandra to thank for this delightful find and for doing all of the research for us on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to making cauliflower pizza crust.

(The toppings are the only time consuming part of this recipe and you can make those your own!)

Roasted Pear and Caramelized Onion Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust (Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Roasted Pear and Caramelized Onion Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust (Cauliflower Crust adapted slightly from Kitchen Apparel)

For the Cauliflower Pizza Crust
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped (creates about 4 cups of cauliflower “rice”)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) almond meal (possibly more)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
For the Toppings
  • 1 cup (250 mL) ricotta cheese
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 starcrimson pear (or variety of choice), skin-on sliced
  • Bundle of fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) pignons (pine nuts)
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) brown sugar
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Makes 1 Large or 2 Medium Sized Pizzas (12 slices)

Nutrition & Cooking Notes:

  1. The toppings are merely suggestions that happen to float my boat but naturally, you can work with any toppings of choice here.
  2. I opted for a lighter soft cheese in this recipe (we are all fans of ricotta here) but a blue cheese would also be smashing with the roasted pear and caramelized onion.
  3. Don’t underestimate the nutrition value of onions! Far from being inert, onions are part of the allium family of disease-fighting phytochemicals that have been shown to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels as well as guarding against certain forms of cancer including colon and prostate.
  4. Cauliflower is also a nutrition star.  Replete with vitamins, minerals and fibre, it is perhaps best known for its high concentration of cancer-fighting chemicals called glucosinolates which are broken down into bioactive compounds known as isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol. Scientists are learning that these compounds help destroy cancer-causing substances by regulating our body’s detoxification enzymes.

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 F.

  1. Leaving the skin intact, slice the pears into relatively thin wedges. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread fresh thyme sprigs all around the surface. Place pear slices on top of the thyme leaves and drizzle with honey. Place the tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Remove tray from oven and flip or shake the pear slices.  Drizzle with 1/4 cup water or so and return tray to oven for another 10-15 or until pears have soften and are beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside. 
  3. Meanwhile, place chopped cauliflower in food processor, sprinkle with salt and pepper and pulse until it resembles a rice consistency.
  4. Transfer cauliflower rice to a large bowl and add almond meal, eggs, garlic powder and onion powder.  
  5. Using your hands, mix all ingredients together until it begins to stick and can be shaped into a ball (or two balls for two pizzas).
  6. If the cauliflower balls are too wet, add a little bit more almond meal.  The texture will never be dry like a conventional flour dough but you don’t want it to be dripping wet either.  A little moisture is fine and will not prevent the crust from firming up in the oven. 
  7. You can use a baking sheet for a rectangular shaped pizza or a pizza pan (I made two medium sized circular shaped pizzas).  Line the pizza pan (or baking sheet) with parchment paper.  Transfer the cauliflower ball onto the center of the paper and using your hands, shape into a pizza crust of about 1/3 inch thickness.  (The thinner the crust, the quicker it will crisp up and brown — you can experiment with your preferences here).
  8. Bake the cauliflower pizza crust in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the sides are beginning to brown.  Remove from oven.
  9. Meanwhile, place onions in a large skillet set to medium-low heat with a dollop of butter or coconut oil. Allow onions to cook until they become translucent (about 6 minutes).  Add salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar, mixing to combine. Allow onions to continue cooking on medium low for another 10 minutes or so. Add brown sugar and allow onions to cook for a final 10 minutes until they take on a deep, rich brown colour.
  10. At this point, you can either keep the pears separate from the onion (for contrasting colours and texture) or you can toss them into the onion pan and mix them around which is what I did.    
  11. Using the cooked pizza crust, spread a cup of ricotta over the the entire crust and top with caramelized onion, roasted pear and a sprinkle of pine nuts.  You can add some of the thyme sprigs if you wish from the roasting sheet. If you are making two pizzas, simply divide the toppings. 
  12. Bake the pizza again for another 5-10 minutes, remove from oven and allow it to cool slightly before slicing and enjoying. 
© Inspired Edibles

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Comments

  1. Sandra @ Kitchen Apparel says

    Your toppings are dreamy!!! I can’t wait to try your version. Thanks for the link love too ;) I don’t know why but cauliflower pizza crust is just so much fun, right?

  2. SallyBR says

    Well, well, well, you’ve done it again! I have a few recipes for the cauliflower pizza crust in my computer waiting for the opportunity to try and make it, but was not totally sold on the idea. I am trashing all the recipes and keeping yours! Should be the one to go for as soon as possible… will report back!

  3. Angie says

    I am terrible at carving or anything that related to using knife!
    Love the caramelized pear topping! The deep brown colour is just irresistible.

  4. Sissi_Withaglass.com says

    Whenever I post any recipe (even something I consider amazingly original), I’m sure there are hundreds, thousands or maybe millions of such dishes on the web. You however seem to have such a unique collection where the big majority of dishes is completely unheard of! If I didn’t see this beautiful pizza on the photographs above I wouldn’t even believe such a thing is possible! Extremely original, healthy, light and still so appetising! If I were your neighbour, I would pop in to borrow salt every day, hoping you have some leftovers of your daily feasts ;-)

  5. Elizabeth says

    Toothpick the tooth – Lol – great image. I think I might also grow attached to your Latin gardener/neighbor. That’s too funny. No pumpkin carving stress here, I just hand off the job! :). Now this pizza is extremely exciting to me. The fact that you can even make a crust from cauliflower is new to me but your toppings too… oh my goodness, just look at those photos!! Seriously gorgeous appeal Kelly… I’m salivating and it’s only 8 am. Any chance of delivery?! Can’t wait to try this one!

  6. inspirededibles says

    Ah, thanks Sissi, you are so thoughtful. Cauliflower crust is definitely ‘out there’ among a certain collection of bloggers but our numbers are fewer — not the same mass appeal as some other mainstream recipes you might say :). If you were my neighbour I would invite you over every day for salt (and pizza)! xo

  7. JeanettesHealthyLiving says

    Kelly, I keep seeing cauiflower crusts circulating and can’t believe I still haven’t tried making it. So glad to hear it’s easy, because I think that’s what’s been holding me back. This looks fantastic!

  8. Sonia! The Healthy Foodie says

    Oh, what a delicious looking pizza! I have, have, have to give it a try! You won’t mind if I use goat cheese instead of ricotta, now, will you?

  9. says

    I’ve seen this cauliflower pizza crust going around the internet and I’ve been wanting to try it! I think this will be the recipe- sounds delicious and perfect for the season :) Haha, I’m sure your pumpkins werent as bad as you thought ;) Plus, the little tools they sell in those kits make it so easy to carve now!

  10. Koko says

    These toppings are heavennnnnnly! Just gorgeous. I just had my very first cauliflower crust experience- very cool!! I will definitely be trying something like this.

    I love carving pumpkins! I just took my annual trip to the pumpkin patch…I love the colours, the farm animals, their beautiful little veggie market. I picked my pumpkin, and I can’t wait to carve it…and then roast the seeds! Having said that….carving pumpkins is really hit or miss for me LOL some years are good and some years I need a lot of toothpicks ;-)

  11. says

    Well, at least you have actually carved a pumpkin, so I award you many kudos for that. :) Being artistically challenged, that was a task I’ve always left to Bobby. The topping on your pizza could go on top of any type of crust! What a delicious topping! Cauliflower crust? That’s quite interesting and one of those strange recipes that one must try just to see if it’s for real. Sounds like you found it to be must try and keeper! The whole pizza looks delicious!

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