Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cauliflower "Bread" Sticks (Dairy Recipe)

I really enjoyed cauliflower pizza crust the couple of times I tried it, and I was utterly smitten when I stumbled upon photos for the bread stick equivalent on Pinterest. My kids have a ridiculously soft spot for cheesy garlic bread, and while I am usually totally fine going without, ever once in a while I get a hankering for a similar indulgence.

Yes, this is a dairy recipe. I haven't found a way to make the pizza crust without cheese either, as it both adds flavor AND helps bind the "bread" together. I find that I actually do alright with a little good quality cheese here and there, so I feel okay making an exception in this case. You could always use a dairy-free cheese like Daiya as well (it still wouldn't be paleo, as the base is rice, but you'd avoid the dairy).

These bread sticks filled the kitchen with the most amazing aroma, and we all chowed down on them with some marinara dipping sauce. I'd definitely recommend this recipe if you're cooking for kids or a party or evening that would include non-paleo eaters. The only person who didn't like them was the caveman (he claimed he could taste the cauliflower too much and they just weren't "for him").

I kind of combined a couple of techniques from various recipes I found online. I do think that broiling at the end is key, as well as leaving the sticks to sit for about 10 minutes or so before eating, as they get much firmer and easier to eat by hand.

Cauliflower "Bread" Sticks

1 head cauliflower, riced
1 tbs. olive oil 
6 cloves garlic, grated or minced 
2 large eggs, lightly beaten 
2 cups total mozzarella and/or freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning, to taste
salt and pepper 

Preheat the oven to 350. Press a sheet of parchment paper into a 9x13 pan (cut the paper so it extends over both ends). Grease with coconut oil or cooking spray.

Steam cauliflower in either the microwave or on the stove top until it's soft (I microwaved it in a large bowl for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally). Allow to cool slightly.

While cauliflower is cooking, heat olive oil in a small skillet. Cook garlic over low heat just until it starts to brown. Put garlic and any residual oil in bowl with cauliflower. Add beaten eggs and all but about 1/4 of the cheese. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and mix well.

Press mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it to make it even. Bake for 30 minutes. Spread another piece of parchment on a baking sheet, and carefully flip cauliflower out of baking pan using ends of parchment paper. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn on broiler. Slice into 8 even slices, resembling bread sticks. Space them out slightly and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the top begins to brown. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

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