Cauliflower has been on sale recently. I usually always pick up a head when the price goes below $1.00. I'm always frustrated at the waste. I usually have to cut off at least a good extra half pound or more of stem that I don't use. But I love cauliflower
I came across this recipe for a tart using roasted cauliflower and caramelized onions. I love both with their sweet roasted flavor. It sounded perfect for a spring dinner.
But then I looked at the recipe. Wow! It called for so many heavy fat items. I expected to have eggs and creme but it also calls for 8 oz of mascarpone cheese, 1 cup of Gruyère and almost another cup of Parmesan cheese. I looked over the reviews on Epicurious and some people reduced the Parmesan but in general most people made it as it was written. There was no way I could use 8 oz of mascarpone in a 9 inch tart. I wasn't making a cheesecake!
I ended up cutting all of the cheese in half or more. It was perfectly fine - in fact very tasty. It makes a great vegetarian meal. I used a recipe for a quiche crust and I'll include that here. It is also very rich. It does involve a lot of steps but you can combine several such as roasting the cauliflower and baking the dough at the same time. It does make a very relaxing and satisfying project.
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbs cold butter
1 egg yolk
3 Tbs cold water
Cut the butter up into the flour until well blended - the butter will be small pea sized after cut up. Stir in the egg yolk and then add water tablespoon at at time until the dough can form a ball. You may need extra tbs. Roll out to fit a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Prick with a fork.
To prevent shrinking, line with parchment paper and fill with bean to weight down. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove paper and beans and return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes or more until golden brown.
Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart
Bon Appétit | March 2007
1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cored, cut into 1-inch florets
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon truffle oil*
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 large eggs
1 (7- to 8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese)*
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
One baked 9 inch tart crust (see above)
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°F. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Spread on large rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes; turn florets over. Continue roasting until tender, about 25 minutes longer. Cool cauliflower, then thinly slice. Drizzle with truffle oil; toss. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store crust at room temperature. Cover and chill cauliflower and onion separately.
Brush bottom and sides of crust with mustard. Spread onion in crust. Arrange cauliflower evenly over. Set tart on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk eggs and next 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Stir in Gruyère. Pour mixture over filling in tart pan; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until tart is golden and center is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 15 minutes before serving.
Note: I reduced the cheeses in half. 1/2 container of mascarpone cheese, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere and 1/2 cup or less of Parmesan cheese. I also omitted the truffle oil since I didn't have any.
Another good tart or quiche for spring is this asparagus quiche which uses the same dough and a filling without the mascarpone. I bet this recipe would be great using asparagus instead. This is another great spring asparagus dish - Baked Fettuccine with Asparagus, Lemon and Mascarpone.