I'm about to do the unthinkable.
I'm blogging about non-Christmas food over the Christmas holiday.
But I'm doing it anyway.
Did you know that I idolize the Smitten Kitchen blog? No? Well, maybe it's time I make that confession. Deb at the Smitten Kitchen blog has been rolling out mouth-watering recipes for years now, even though I only discovered her about a year ago. Aaaaaand she's developing her own cookbook. Can't wait for that bad boy to come out.
As I was perusing her blog one day, I stumbled upon a recipe for something very near and dear to my heart: a Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart. Cauliflower, caramelized onions, cheese and quiche are things that I adore and would make in a heartbeat. So of course I knew I had to make this.
Unfortunately, I don't have a tart pan, so I decided to throw everything into a pie crust and call it a quiche (ahem...tart pan's make nice belated Christmas gifts...).
Cauliflower & Caramelized Onion Quiche
slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart
- 1 head cauliflower (~1lb), cut into 1-inch flowerets
- 3 1/2 tbsps olive oil
- black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- 1 frozen pie crust
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large eggs
- ~ 6 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp habanero sauce
- 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (can be swapped with Swiss or Comté)
- 1/2 cup Fontina cheese
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Make the Cauliflower:
1) Preheat oven to 425°F.
2) Toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet.
3) Sprinkle the cauliflower with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and toss to combine.
4) Roast in the oven for 15 minutes before turning the cauliflower over.
5) Roast another 10-15 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned.
6) Cool the cauliflower and chop roughly.
7) Reduce oven temperature to 400°F.
Blind Bake The Pie Crust:
1) Use a fork to prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust.
2) Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. If the crust puffs up in the oven, just push it back down gently while still warm. No one will ever see it. (If you're really fancy, you can weigh the crust down with baking beans or raw rice. Just line the crust with parchment paper first.)
3) Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Make the Onions:
1) Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat.
2) Add the onions and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
3) Saute until the onions are caramelized and light brown in color, stirring periodically. This took me about 45 minutes but it may take you more or less time.
Assemble the Quiche:
1) Spread the onion over the bottom of the crust.
2) Top the onion with the cauliflower florets.
3) Whisk together the eggs, mascarpone, milk, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and habanero sauce.
4) Mix together all the cheeses in a bowl. Toss to incorporate.
5) Add all except 1/2-3/4 cup cheese to the egg mixture.
6) Pour the egg mixture over the onions and cauliflower florets.
7) Sprinkle the top of the quiche with the reserved cheese mixture.
8) Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly brown on top.
9) Remove from the oven and cool before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
The flavors of this quiche represent very tasty comfort food to me. FYI...In case you were wondering, I would cook/bake with cauliflower more often if I didn't think this blog would suffer from it.) I love that the cauliflower has a meaty texture which is complimented by the salty/sweet combination of cheese and onions.
I made some slight changes to Deb's recipe, since I'm obviously partial to things that she's not and vice versa. For example, I don't really care for mustard. I always remove it from a recipe whenever I can. This case was no exception. I also added more cheese to the recipe. If you're a regular visitor to this blog, this is nothing new. I always add more cheese to a recipe when cheese is called for. That is because there is never enough cheese. But I'm about to make a confession.
I think I added too much cheese to this quiche.
You will probably never hear this confession again. Let me explain...Between the mascarpone, Gruyère , Fontina, and Parmesan cheeses, the entire quiche became too messy. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the taste of this quiche. However, the ability of the quiche to stay together leaves something to be desired. (I had to chill the quiche in order to take suitable pictures. As you can see from the picture of the slice above, it was already starting to fall apart.) So that's my only gripe about this quiche and it's totally my fault. Next time I'll probably remove a half cup to a cup of the cheese from the recipe. Other than that, I will still claim that this is another winner brought to you by the Smitten Kitchen blog!