Cauliflower-Crust Pesto Pizza with Asparagus, Peppers, and Chickpeas

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photo (25)Wow. That title is a mouthful. But I want to tell it to you straight! This pizza was one of those whatever-you-have-in-the-fridge kind of meals, and it came together really well. The cauliflower crust is super simple to make, and makes this pizza a lighter meal. The pesto adds spice and flavor to the crust. The asparagus and red bell pepper give it a refreshing crunch, and the chickpeas added a little bit of protein.

Ingredients:

For the cauliflower crust, I used this recipe from The Bewitchin’ Kitchen as a starting point, and modified it slightly:

1/2 head of cauliflower

1 egg

A handful of mozzarella cheese, about 1/8 cup

For the toppings:

1/4-1/2 cup pesto, depending on your sauciness preference

3 stalks of asparagus cut into thirds

1/8 of a red bell pepper, sliced thinly

1/8 cup of chickpeas

1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese

Makes a 12-14 inch pizza, 6 slices

Step 1:Make the cauliflower crust: I chopped the cauliflower and then put it in my manuel food processor. I processed it until it was about the consistency of rice. Then I strayed from recipe and spread the cauliflower onto a clean dish towel. I then placed another dish towel on top and pressed out some of the moisture from the cauliflower. To make the “dough” I mixed the cauliflower, 1 egg, and handful of mozzarella in a bowl.

Step 2: Spread the “dough” onto a pizza stone or greased cookie sheet, until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is firm.

Step 3: Remove the crust from the oven and top with pesto, asparagus, red bell pepper, and chickpeas. Bake for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Then broil for about 3 minutes, watching closely, until the cheese is bubbly and crispy.

Step 4: Remove the pizza and let it cool. As it cools, trim off the burnt edges of the cauliflower crust. (I don’t know why, but both times I have made this crust, the edges burn and the rest of the crust is fine!)

I loved the way this pizza turned out! It filled me up, but I didn’t feel overly full or bloated after 3 slices because the cauliflower crust is so light. Because the cauliflower crust doesn’t get as crispy as a traditional crust, I was glad I added crunchy veggies and didn’t cook them too long so that the pizza didn’t turn out to be soggy. Alex was out of town this week, and this was the perfect sized meal for one with leftovers for lunch!

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