Savory cauliflower crostata

Does cauliflower count for detox? That’s what we are supposed to do for at least one week in January, isn’t it? Are you on a salad diet and figured it’s bad for you since there’s a foot of snow outside? It’s too cold for self-inflicted punishment.

I am so glad is not bikini time yet. That’s even worse than New Year detox. Lucky me I don’t even wear a bikini anymore.

This means I can have this wholesome, gluten-free quiche which is every bit as good and crunchy as any gluten equivalent. Not bad for a healthy dose of veggies and – as an added bonus – is wonderfully easy to digest.

Recipe

  • 1 small cauliflower head, cleaned and separated into florets
  • 1  garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoon grated Parmigiano
  • 200 gr (7 oz) Emmentaler or Gruyere, diced
For the GF crust:
  • 125 gr ( 1 and 1/8 cup) tapioca flour
  • 125 gr ( 1 and 1/8 cup) glutinous rice flour
  • 125 gr (1 stick) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon Parmigiano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 220° C/ 430° F.

To make the crust:

Using my food processor method for sweet pastry, make the savory shell using the tapioca and glutinous rice flours, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoon Parmigiano and enough cold water to obtain a firm dough. I have tried to make pastry with various gluten-free flours but this is by far the easiest and most consistent in terms of structure and flavor.

Line a 10 inch ( 25 cm) tart pan with parchment paper. Roll the dough into a 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thin disk and transfer into the tart pan so to make a case with shallow sides. I roll the dough onto a clingfilm sheet and then I flip it into the lined tart pan.

Cover with the clingfilm and transfer in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 an hour and up to half a day. This crucial step will give you a crispy shell.

To make the filling:

Blanch the cauliflower florets in plenty boiling water until fork tender, drain.  Sauté 1 finely minced clove of garlic and the fennel seeds in 2 tablespoon olive oil until fragrant. Add the cauliflower florets and sauté briefly to infuse in the garlicky oil. Season to taste with salt and black or red pepper. Set aside.

While the cauliflower is cooling, whisk 3 eggs with 1/2 cup milk and 3 tablespoon grated Parmigiano. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the cauliflower into the pastry shell and top with diced cheese making sure to push the cubes in between the florets.

how to make a cauliflower quiche

Pour the egg mixture over the tart and transfer into the oven.

To finish:

Bake the crostata in middle of the oven 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden. We love the quiche hot from the oven but it’s also good at room temperature.

Serves 4 as a vegetarian main, 6 as a side or appetizer.

PS. If in a hurry, using good quality store-bought puff or pie crust is a quick alternative to making the pastry shell from scratch.

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