After many failed attempts using cheese as a binding agent for my gluten free cauliflower crust, I decided to try the vegan route and was much happier. This recipe is an adaptation to something else I have found on the internet. I am not responsible for conceiving this thought on my own. What I can promise you is that everything else in this composition is my very own.
Please feel free to supplement the pesto with a tomato sauce, if you feel so inclined. I don’t typically advise this due to the water content of the sauce, but a well seasoned tomato paste could be an excellent alternative.
Try topping with whatever suits you, bearing in mind that this recipe does render a thin crust, and won’t be able to hold up on any heavy toppings like excess cheese or meat.
total time: 45 mins
- 1lb cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
- 1/2 cup almond flour (or gluten free flour of choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flake
- 1 1/2 cup arugula
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on preference)
- salt and pepper to taste
*plus toppings of choice (I used oven roasted chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives and caramelized onions)
Set the oven to 400 degrees. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor for a minute, until they are a smooth “rice” consistency. Fill a medium saucepan with one inch of water and spoon the riced cauliflower on top of that water, over medium heat. Allow the cauliflower to steam for roughly 3 minutes. Place the steamed cauliflower in a heat proof bowl and place it in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool. During this time, combine 2 tablespoons of flax seed and 6 tablespoons of water together in a small bowl, gently mixing and setting aside. Next place the hazelnuts in the oven on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, add chia seeds, flour, and seasonings. Remove the cauliflower from the freezer and ring it out in a nut milk bag, lightweight kitchen towel or cheesecloth, until there is virtually no moisture left. Add the cauliflower and the flaxseed mixture to the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and allow to cool until making the pesto. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the dough out as evenly as possible. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and roll the dough with a rolling pin or smooth it with your hands. Remove the top of sheet of parchment paper and place it the dough in the oven for 20-30 mins or until golden brown.
Make the pesto by combining all ingredients in a blender and blending on high for at least one minute, scraping down the sides as needed. Once mixture is an even consistency, place to the side until the crust is ready. Spend this time prepping whatever ingredients you desire. I roasted chick peas in the oven with some Italian (same seasonings as the crust) for 20 minutes, and also caramelized the onions in a pan on low heat for about 10 minutes. Sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives require no effort 😉 When the crust is done, apply the pesto and toppings as desired and slice into pieces!