"Thanks to popular diets such as the Paleo diet and other grain-free diets, we have come to love cauliflower for its versatility. Not only can it impersonate couscous, be turned into risotto and used instead of macaroni in mac 'n' cheese, it can also become a nutritious grain-free flour, by squeezing every last drop of liquid from it." -Zita Steyn.
1 medium cauliflower, florets only
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp dried mixed Italian herbs (oregano, marjoram, basil, etc.)
20g ground almonds
20g finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large red onion, cut in half through the core, peeled and sliced
Coconut oil, ghee or high-quality extra virgin olive oil
400g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, pressed or mashed
200g chard, chopped into small bite-sized pieces (chop stalks separately if thick)
Large handful (about 50g) of pitted Kalamata olives
To Serve (Optional):
Crumbly goats' cheese
Chilli olive oil
Pre-heat a pizza stone (or heavy, flat baking tray) in the oven at 220 C/430 F/Gas 7.
Blitz the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles couscous, then steam in a sieve or steamer over a small amount of simmering water until tender. Allow to cool completely.
Spoon the cauliflower into a nut milk bag or several layers of muslin and squeeze out all the liquid. You should end up with 200g cauliflower 'flour'. This process can seem laborious, but is essential.
In a bowl, combine the 'flour' and the remaining ingredients for the base, with a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix well.
Using your hands, press the dough onto a large piece of oiled baking parchment, to about 5mm thick. Slide the baking parchment onto the hot pizza stone or baking tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip over and peel off the parchment. Return to the oven by sliding onto the pizza stone or baking sheet directly, then bake for another 5 minutes or until golden and crispy around the edges.
While the base is baking, gently cook the onion in a pan with some oil or ghee and a pinch of salt over a low heat. Once soft and translucent, turn up the heat to medium and add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes start to soften, add the garlic and cook for another 2–3 minutes. Add the chard and cook until wilted. Stir in the olives, remove from the heat and keep warm.
When the base is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to stand for a couple of minutes before topping with the chard mixture. Sprinkle on some crumbly cheese and chilli oil, if using.
The steamed cauliflower does take a long time to cool down, so if it’s more convenient, prepare the 'flour' in advance and keep refrigerated until ready to continue with the recipe.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Good Better Green by Zita Steyn published by Quadrille $29.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: This is an edited extract from Good Better Green by Zita Steyn published by Quadrille $29.99 and is available in stores nationally.