Low carb and gluten free has never looked so pretty and inventive. A cauliflower crust is topped with pureed beets, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and fresh arugula.
Weekends are much too short and there are far too few of them. I know this because I’ve spent the better part of this summer with jam packed weekends but I am not necessarily complaining. Friends and family coming to visit, going out of town for weddings and camping, a whirlwind 600 mile road trip in under 24 hours, and even more to come in the remainder of summer. This past weekend I reunited with the friends I made during my short 1 year stint living in Knoxville between grad school and my current job for our second annual #cabinlife weekend. I hadn’t seen them since I departed in December and it was an awesome, yet too short, weekend like all the rest but we managed to pack it all in. Hot tub, shooting stars, frisky lightning bugs, card games, personal live music/sing-a-long, a walk along the river, and an excess of food and drinks.
What does this strange yet pretty looking pizza have to do with any of that? Not much really except that I did actually acquire this recipe from my friend Brandi who also happened to visit since I moved to Ohio but she was lucky enough to be here a few months ago during a huge snowfall. But that’s another story. This pizza consists of a cauliflower crust topped with a beet puree, goat cheese, candided walnuts, and fresh arugula. I might have a thing for arugula on top of pizza, don’t you think? Exhibit A/B/C/D.
Four years ago: Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
BEET PIZZA WITH CAULIFLOWER CRUST (BEETZA)
1/2 large head cauliflower
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1 Tbsp fresh minced oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (15 oz.) can whole beets, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 1 clove)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2 handfuls fresh baby arugula
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Generously coat a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray, set aside.
- Use a cheese grater or food processor to shred the cauliflower into small crumbles (NOT puree). You should have 2 cups, if not shred more. Place cauliflower in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. Allow to cool, then squeeze out excess liquid using a colander and paper towels.
- Return cauliflower to the large bowl. Add remaining crust ingredients and stir until blended. Dump the mixture onto the prepared pan and pat into about a 12-inch circle. Spray crust lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
- While the crust bakes, prepare the beet sauce. Add beets to a food processor (or blender) and pulse until finely chopped. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and red pepper (if using). Pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and prepare the candied walnuts.
- In a small skillet over medium heat combine the walnuts, brown sugar, and honey. Cook until the sugar melts and forms a thick syrup, stirring constantly, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately pour onto a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Spread out into a single layer and allow to cool.
- When the crust is cooked and golden, remove from oven. Spread beet sauce over the pre-baked crust and sprinkle with goat cheese. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is soft and bubbly.
- Sprinkle with candied walnuts and fresh arugula. Cut into 6 slices and serve immediately.
Source: Adapted slightly from my friend Brandi and my Cauliflower Pizza Crust.
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