Monday, January 28, 2013

Insanely Good Cauliflower Cheesy Garlic "Breadsticks"

My Insanely Good Cauliflower Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks

No bread.  Low Fat.  Baked cheesy garlicky cauliflower goodness.  Seriously?
I think I could get dangerously used to this. 

The first bite left me wanting more...and wondering why I had ever eaten a carb in my life.
Just the mere fact that crust can be made from cauliflower is so incredible it puts carb-filled thin-crust pizza to shame.  
And then before I could savor another bite, there were only crumbs left on the plate.

In my day, I've cooked up & tasted some pretty good dishes with cauliflower.  
Roasted Cauliflower Mash was surprisingly one of the greatest alternatives I've made to buttery creamy mashed pototoes.  
And then there's my Cauliflower Cous-Cous w/ Dried Cranberries & Pine nuts (yum!).  
And of course my Mom's eponymous Cauliflower Breadcrumb Gratin...a Lublin family staple.

But cheesy pizza-esque flat crust made of cauliflower is heaven on earth.
I can promise, you will never look at another cauliflower the same way ever again.
Here's the start to a total love affair.

Baking to Perfection is in progress

Original recipe adapted from  "An Edible Mosaic" blog's "Cauliflower Crust Garlic 'Breadsticks'" 
Thank you Edible Mosaic for my now even bigger obsession with this veggie!

Cheesy, crispy, garlicky, savory crust dipped in my very own Homemade Marinara.  Healthy and delicious in every bite~

Cauliflower Cheesy Garlic Crusts

Recipe serves  2-4.


1/2 of a large head of cauliflower, grated
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 oz low flat mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
Freshly ground salt & black pepper, to taste
Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs (optional for added crispness but not necessary!)
Marinara Sauce, for serving (optional)      

Preparation & Cooking instructions: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 11 inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the excess paper hangs over the sides; lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
2. To "rice" the cauliflower, grate it on a cheese grater until about 3 cups (lightly packed) of riced cauliflower.
3. In a microwavable bowl, heat the cauliflower uncovered on hight about 6 to 8 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally (do not add water).  Cool slightly.
4.  While the cauliflower cooks, heat the oil in a small skillet over low to medium heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute stirring constantly; cool slightly.
5.  To the bowl with the softened cauliflower, add the garlic, egg, 3/4 of the cheese (reserving 1/4 for topping later), 1/4 teaspoon of herb seasoning (reserving 1/4 tsp for gardish), bread crumbs (optional) and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.
6.  Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan in an even flat layer.  Bake until the cauliflower mixture is set and starting to turn golden, about 30 mintues.    
7.  Line an additional baking sheet with a piece of parchment.  Remove the cauliflower baking pan from the oven  and use the parchment paper to lift the crust out of the panel and carefully flip it over onto the lined baking sheet (so the bottom facing up).  Bake until golden, approx 10 min.
8. Preheat the broiler.  Cut the crust cross-wise into 8 piecs.  Slightly separate the pieces and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon dried herbs seasoning.  Broil a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted and golden in spots (watch carefully so that it does not burn).
9.  Serve hot or warm (tip: If you allow it to cool for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven, the crust will harden a bit so that it becomes easier to hold and the crust should stay intact).  

Enjoy! xoxo,


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