The cauliflower crop is hitting the market here. I love those weighty heads of Brassica goodness! Even with such a great vegetable, too much of a good thing becomes boring.
Each year I commit to including larger vegetable portions in our meals. The only way that seems to work for us, or at least for me, is to discover new ways to enjoy the vegetables in season regularly. The search is fun but takes some commitment of its own. To try a new recipe means planning ahead and being certain to have most of the major ingredients on hand, or at least figure out how to adapt the recipe to what you do have immediately available.
Over the years I’ve gotten proficient enough at vetting recipes to reduce our risk of ending up with a dish we don’t like. That said, I must confess that some of those recipes never get repeated because:
They lack in the WOW factor for flavor or texture.
The process took longer than expected.
Leftovers lacked the original vibrancy.
This cauliflower frittata missed all three of the potholes listed above. That’s a good start! In addition, it was easy to eat out of hand, making it an ideal party food, travel food, or a snack.
This is a dish lined up for repeat performances. Follow the recipe just as it stands or get a bit creative with adding your other leftovers to it. What about adding bits of cooked chicken or fish left from another meal? Leftover roasted vegetables? Add them to the frittata for a whole new experience. Totally change the seasonings. Use your signature seasonings and make this dish fully your own. Get out your iron skillet and have some delicious fun!
Inspiration for this dish comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, a must-have book for any vegetable-loving cook. I made a number of adjustments to accommodate the ingredients I had available and still get the flavors I believe Yotam was planning on. If he reads this post surely he will say, “Good going, girl!” Thank you, Yotam.
Cauliflower Frittata Ingredients
1 small head of cauliflower or half a large one
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely diced white onion
2 cloves finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 1/2 cup shredded medium-sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
A drizzle of olive oil for serving
Cauliflower Frittata Steps
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. In a medium bowl mix the eggs, mustard, cream, half the cheese, salt, and pepper and set aside.
While the water heats, break the cauliflower into medium sized flowerettes. You may have to cut the pieces up to get the flowerettes about the same size.
Add a sprinkle of salt to the boiling water, then add the cauliflower. Cook for about 4 minutes. You are going for ‘partially done.’
Drain the cauliflower and pat dry on some paper towels or a clean tea towel.
Heat the olive oil in a medium oven-ready skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. (I love my black iron skillet for adventures like this.) Add the onion and saute until the onion is translucent.
Add the garlic. Stir for thirty seconds. Do not brown the garlic. Toss in the partially cooked cauliflower. Toss, toss, toss. Get the cauliflower coated with those heady flavors.
If the skillet seems too dry, add a little olive oil. Stir and cook the cauliflower mixture for another 2-3 minutes. Do not burn!
Sprinkle on the smoked paprika and stir well.
Pour the egg mixture over the cauliflower mixture. Use a fork to distribute the cauliflower evenly over the pan if necessary. Cook over medium-low heat for about five minutes.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the egg mixture and place the skillet in a 375 degree oven for about ten minutes, until the frittata is set and the cheese is melted.
Remove the frittata from the oven an allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. During this time the frittata will firm up, making it possible to produce neat, even slices. Drizzle the slices with a little extra virgin olive oil and garnish with something green like cilantro or parsley.