Mini Cauliflower Bites

These little appetizers copy the flavors of pepperoni pizza without using wheat flour. Very finely chopped cauliflower combined with Italian cheeses and egg create surprisingly tasty cups for filling with toppings. Bake them in mini muffin cups until edges are crisp, then serve with no-cook dipping sauce.

Makes 24 gluten-free bits

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 10 to 12 ounces trimmed cauliflower, cut into 1-inch chunks (3 to 4 cups)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ⅓ cups finely shredded Italian blend cheese, divided
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • Dash salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 48 to 72 gluten-free miniature turkey pepperoni slices, such as Hormel
  • 1 recipe Tomato Pizza Sauce (recipe below)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat 24 (1¾-inch) muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside. Place cauliflower, half at a time, in a food processor. Cover and process with on/off pulses just until cauliflower is finely chopped (do not purée cauliflower). Measure 2 cups finely chopped cauliflower; transfer to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high about 8 minutes or until tender, stirring once or twice. If necessary, pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Cool.

Add egg, 1 cup of the cheese, basil, rosemary and salt to cauliflower; stir to combine. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each prepared muffin cup. Press evenly onto the bottoms and up the sides of cups. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until crusts are golden, edges are browned and centers are set. Remove from oven.

Spoon ¼ teaspoon roasted red pepper and ¼ teaspoon green onion into each muffin cup. Top each with a rounded ½ teaspoon cheese and 2 or 3 pepperoni slices. Bake 2 to 3 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Carefully remove from muffin cups. Serve warm with Tomato Pizza Sauce (recipe here) for dipping.