Side Dishes & Canapes
Vegetarian & Vegan
I’ve tried making a pizza-style base with cauliflower before, following a recipe, but wasn’t happy with it - it was too dry and a bit tasteless. I love the idea though as, in theory, it should make a tasty, fat-free base for lots of lovely toppings. So this week, when I was thinking about what to make using the last of this year’s nasturtium leaves from the veg patch, I decided to try again, making it up as I went along to see what would happen and this time - success! Although I used the nasturtiums to add a peppery flavour, they are optional (see below) and what I came up with is a really quick and easy-to-make base that you can top with whatever takes your fancy - though the sliced cherry tomatoes and cheese that I’ve used here take some beating.
Whizz the cauliflower, onion and nasturtium or rocket leaves together in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs, then season really well and mix in the egg. Flour your hands and take a handful of the mixture out of the bowl, then press into a disc about the size of a tea plate. Put on a baking parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have six small bases. Top with the tomatoes, shake over some Worcestershire Sauce and add either feta or cheddar. Grind over plenty of black pepper. Bake at 190C (fan oven) for about 25 minutes until the bases are crisp and browned and the cheese is bubbling.
Makes 6 small 'pizzas'.
These are even nicer if you reduce down a homemade tomato sauce until it's quite thick and spread it over the bases before adding the sliced tomatoes (you could use my Extra Special Tomato Sauce recipe, but leave out the mushrooms: https://a-cooks-plot.blogspot.com/2018/05/extra-special-tomato-sauce.html).
Also, it's best to keep the bases fairly small or they become quite hard to handle both before and after they're cooked, as obviously they're more fragile than a dough base would be.
Lastly, i've really enjoyed using nasturtium leaves in recipes this summer - they give cooked dishes a fresh, spicy taste and you can use the flowers to get the same effect in salads too.