We get so much cauliflower from our CSA this time of year that it gets hard to keep up with it. As a result, I have learned to be very creative with cauliflower, and, actually, it is one of my favorite veggies to work with now, since I have a ton of yummy uses for it. We rarely ever get boring white cauliflower, though. Our box overflows with cheddar cauliflower, romanesco cauliflower and purple cauliflower.
I love cauliflower pasta with toasted walnuts and ricotta salata (especially yummy with cheddar cauliflower), cappellini with cauliflower (awesome with lots of garlicky, buttery bread crumbs), tandoori cauliflower — and all of these will probably be the subject of posts at some point in the future.
However, my all-time favorite use for cauliflower is a cauliflower tart. It’s pretty time-intensive, but a lot of it can be done ahead in bits and pieces, which is why I like it. Plus, it’s really, really good.
It’s perfect with a simple side salad, since it’s pretty rich. I love that it makes plenty of leftovers, too, which are best reheated in a toaster oven.
Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart
From Bon Appétit, March 2007, with my modifications
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 frozen pie crust
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon or other specialty mustard
3 large eggs, divided
1 (7- to 8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
3/4 cup + 1 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
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.
Line pie crust with foil. Bake crust 20 minutes. Remove foil and brush bottom and sides or crust with one beaten egg (you won’t use all of it) and sprinkle with 1 Tbs parmesan. Bake until crust is golden, about 5 minutes, pressing crust with back of fork if bubbles form. Cool crust. Maintain oven temperature.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lower heat and cook until onion is deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. 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, 40 minutes to an hour. Transfer to rack; cool 15 minutes before serving.