This Green Goddess Pizza with Kale Pesto has a dairy and gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with an incredibly flavorful and colorful pesto. Yes, it’s kale pesto, but the kale is blended with a whole lot of fresh herbs and pine nuts to make this one flavorful pizza with major nutrition to boot.
Do you love green? I literally feel a void when I haven’t eaten something green that day. And being a mother of a five-year-old (my little sweet potato), I frequently, and I emphasize frequently, get asked what my favorite color is. My favorite color has been green for as long as I can remember. (Well, there was that brief stint in college where I seemed to only buy orange clothes from resale shops, a little weird, but other than that …) So, I suppose it’s no surprise that I love pizzas piled high with a vitamin and nutrient-packed green concoction!!!
Years ago, my digestive system, and health for that matter, were a complete mess. I wasn’t extremely concerned by it, because I had been given a few real bonafide diagnoses – IBS, Raynaud’s and Vitiligo. My doctor hadn’t recommended any dietary changes, but deep down I knew I needed to clean up my diet. I didn’t know 3% then of what I know now in terms of nutrition, but my solution back then to cleaning up my diet was adding in mass amounts of green leafy vegetables. I added them to nearly every meal I prepared. My morning breakfast cereal was the only meal that was safe from my green dietary obsession. Back then I didn’t particularly care for their taste, but I diligently ate them despite that. My solution? I placed kale, spinach, mustard greens, etc. into a food processor until properly pulverized and thus easy to blend in with just about any dish.
Fast forward 10 years – I have learned that healing my IBS and various other health problems was about more than adding foods, but removing certain foods so that healing could occur in my gut. Using food to heal made me grateful for its power and it continued to fuel my love affair for everything green. And though now I don’t pulverize greens for most meals, this pizza was inspired by those days of my healing journey.
Now, onto the recipe shall we? It’s fall here in Minnesota (albeit the tail-end of fall), but before there is a hard frost, the brassica family of vegetables hold on for a few weeks. Brassicas are those beautiful veggies like kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc. They thrive in the cooler spring and fall weather rather than the heat of summer. This recipe celebrates the brassica family in every way – a dairy-free and gluten-free cauliflower pizza crust and a kale pesto that gets all of its tasty flavor thanks to fresh herbs.
The minimalist take on the pesto topping lends itself well to you making this pizza with your own spin on it – micro-greens, caramelized onions, raw spinach, kalamata olives, roasted chicken or parmesan (if you tolerate dairy) are all wonderful choices for additional toppings. The pesto is recipe is very flexible as well, so have fun with it!
If you have extra kale after making this recipe, my kale chips are a well-loved snack in my home.
To your health, Mandy
- Cauliflower – Look for cauliflower heads without any brown spots on the “curds” (the florets). They are harmless, but are signs of oxidation and decay. You want the freshest cauliflower possible to get the most nutrients from the plant. If you can only find ones with the brown spots, cut them off before cooking the cauliflower.
- Kale – When referencing the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables, kale wasn’t even in the top 50. However, when referencing a study done (Dr. Mercola references it) in the United Kingdom, Kale was near the top as on of the “dirtiest” (pesticide ridden) vegetables. Organic kale is a very reasonably priced vegetable, comparatively, so if you can, buy organic.
- Parchment Paper – Obviously not an ingredient, but I recommend you use the unbleached variety of parchment paper. Bleached parchment paper when heated can/may/might leach dioxin, which you can read about here and why I advise you to avoid it. There are several brands of unbleached parchment paper which are available at your local grocery store or on Amazon. I use the If You Care brand.
Green Goddess Pizza
- 1½ lb cauliflower about 1 medium-sized head, roughly chopped (OR 4 cups of pre-made cauliflower rice)
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2 eggs *
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¾ teaspoon sea or himalayan salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 2 cups kale spinach or a combination
- 2 garlic cloves small to medium, or 1 large
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup pine nuts cashews will also work
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- water to thin out may not be necessary
- OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
- Roasted Chicken
- Raw Spinach Leaves
- Kalamata Olives
- Parmesan if dairy is tolerated
Preheat the oven to 400.
Place cauliflower chunks in a food processor. Blend the cauliflower until the pieces are the size of rice grains.
Using a nut bag, a clean dish towel, or a metal mesh strainer, squeeze as much liquid out of the cauliflower as you can. This is very important. Getting the moisture out now will keep the crust from having a mushy texture.
Place the eggs, almond flour, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in the food processor and blend until well combined. Then add the cauliflower back in until well combined.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (this is very important) and spread the cauliflower batter out evenly with a spoon to form your desired pizza crust shape. The batter should be about ¼ inch thick throughout. Try to keep crust as even as possible. If it's too thin, you won't be able to pick it up.
Place both the crust in the oven and bake for 30 min.
After 30 minutes, carefully flip the crust - I place an additional baking sheet over the crust, hold two baking sheets together, and then quickly flip them so the crust lands on the new baking sheet. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
While the pizza is cooking place all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined. A few tablespoons or more of water may need to be added to get the blades to turn. Taste for salt and citrus.
When crust is baked, spread the kale pesto evenly over it. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes* When mixing the crust together, if it feels too crumbly, add another egg.