My best friend from college moved from Iowa to Arizona almost three years ago. Since then, I have traveled out to the Phoenix area several times to visit her, enjoy the warm (HOT!) weather, and to partake in some good eats. One of my favorite restaurants that we have dined at, to date, is Oregano’s Pizza Bistro. If you are ever in the Phoenix area, this is a must visit restaurant. During my visit, I ordered The Big ‘O Vedge baked sandwich, which was phenomenal! However, this sandwich and its accompanying sweet potato french fries were not my favorite part of the meal. Instead, I was delighted by and instantly hooked on their Guaca Tony appetizer. The Guaca Tony consists of pizza crust “chips” that are topped with fresh Italian guacamole made with basil, garlic, and avocado. The crust and guacamole are served separately, and it is up to the diner to slather each “chip” with LOTS of guac! And trust me, plenty of guacamole is a must! This appetizer was to die for, and left me thinking of it ever since.
Since I live quite a ways away from the nearest Oregano’s restaurant, I decided to make my own attempt at the Guaca Tony. I made homemade pizza crust breadsticks from my Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe, and concocted my own version of a homemade Italian-inspired guacamole. To say that I was more than pleased with the results would be an understatement!
Guacamole Cauliflower Crust Breadsticks
Servings: 2 (4 breadsticks each)
For the breadsticks:
1/2 head of cauliflower (about 2 cups, riced)
1 egg, beaten
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
For the guacamole:
1 1/2 ripe avocados
1/4 small red onion, diced
1/2 Roma tomato, diced
juice of 1/2 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp basil
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
fine sea salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Rice your cauliflower using the following process: Remove the stems from the cauliflower and cut into chunks. Place the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse it until it resembles the texture of rice. If you do not have a food processor, you can use a grater or chop it very finely.
3. Microwave the chopped cauliflower uncovered in a microwave safe bowl for approximately 8 minutes.
4. Combine the cooked cauliflower, egg, garlic, cheese, and seasonings. Stir until well-combined.
5. Spread the cauliflower mixture out onto a pizza pan in the shape of a pizza crust. I used a pizza “crisper” so that the crust would turn out extra crispy. The crust will not be HUGE, so if you are cooking for several people you will want to double the recipe.
6. Bake the crust for approximately 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven), or until the crust is golden and crispy. I cooked mine for approximately 25 minutes.
7. While the crust is baking, scoop the avocado out of its skin and into a medium-sized bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork, leaving some small chunks of avocado intact.
8. Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
9. Slice the baked cauliflower crust into “breadsticks.”
10. Scoop your guacamole into a serving bowl…
…and attempt to compile an attractive serving plate with the breadsticks and guacamole.
11. Scoop a heaping spoonful of delicious guacamole onto each breadstick and enjoy!
The warm, crispness of the cauliflower crust breadsticks combined with the cool, Italian-inspired tastes of the guacamole was delicious! Did it taste exactly like Oregano’s Guaca Tony? Unfortunately, no. But that was to be expected. I definitely did not go into this recipe thinking that I would be recreating the exact appetizer. As far as at-home versions go, however, I was very pleased! Plus, the use of the cauliflower pizza crust recipe for the breadsticks in place of the pizza crust “chips” was certainly a much healthier option. It may not have been an exact recreation of Oregano’s delicious appetizer, but it was a delicious appetizer (I actually ate it as a meal for dinner) all the same!
Have you ever attempted to recreate a favorite restaurant dish at home? How did your re-creation turn out?