Turkish Cauli Pizza
When I was backpacking around Europe in my 20s, Turkey was one of my top 5 countries (along with Ireland, Spain, France). I loved how it felt both familiar and exotic.
One of my favourte things to eat were the flat, oval-shaped ‘pizzas’ topped with spicy meat, parsley and lemon juice. A great example of the familiar-exotic vibe of the whole country.
After years of missing out on Turkish Pizza, I had the inspiration to make a Low Carb version with my cauliflower pizza base recipe. Even my boys (confirmed vegetable dodgers) enjoy. Just don’t tell them it’s healthy!
enough for 3
takes 60 minutes
500g (1lb) cauliflower, half a large cauli
100g (3.5oz) almond meal
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
450g (1lb) minced (ground) beef or lamb
2t baharat spice or 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander and paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
handful pine nuts
small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
lemon wedges to serve
1. Preheat your oven to 220C (425F). Line a rimmed baking sheet (tray) with baking paper. Chop cauliflower into bite sized chunks and process in the food processor until it looks like grains of couscous or small rice. If you don’t have a food processor you can grate the cauli but it’s lots of work!
2. Add almond meal, eggs and salt to the cauli and mix with a spoon until combined. Tip mixture onto your prepared tray then use your hands to form into a large oval about 40cm (16in) long. I like to make a little boarder around the edges that is a bit thicker so it looks pretty.
3. Bake base for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
4. While the base is cooking, heat a little oil in a large frying pan on a high heat. Add meat and cook, stirring until well browned and cooked through. Reduce heat to medium and add spices, tomato paste and a few tablespoons water. Cook for another minute or so and remove from the heat. Taste and season with salt.
5. When the base is brown, top with the cooked meat mixture. Sprinkle over the pine nuts. Pop back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until everything is hot and the pine nuts are toasted.
6. To serve scatter over parsley and slice into wedges. Serve with lemon for squeezing over the top.
WINE MATCH: A spicy temperanillo or malbec.
Variations & Substitutions
vegetarian – replace meat with cooked lentils and onion.
more substantial (carb lovers) – use regular pizza dough.
more substantial (low carb) – serve with a substantial vegetable side or a good drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil. I’ve also been known to eat it with a very un-traditional dollop of mayo.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
cauliflower – ungrated cauli will keep for weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Can be frozen but the texture isn’t as good when defrosted.
almond meal / fine salt / baharat spice / ground cumin / coriander / paprika / tomato paste / pine nuts – keep them in the pantry.
eggs – will keep in the fridge for weeks or use for another meal.
minced (ground) beef or lamb – freeze it.
flat leaf parsley – tends to be the most long lasting of the leafy herbs. Should keep for a few weeks in the fridge if wrapped in a plastic bag. For longer periods pop it in the freezer – it will wilt but will still be useable in this dish.
lemon – whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.
Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the lemon and parsley separately. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. The cauliflower flavour in the base will become stronger with time. To serve, warm in the oven for 5-10 minutes and top with parsley and lemon.