30 Oct Cauliflower Tart
I love cauliflower. I would go so far to say that it i my favorite vegetable. This week. Seriously though, I find it to be very versatile and delicious. Recently I even saw someone on Food TV make a cauliflower ragout and serve it with spaghetti, a good idea which deserves further investigation.
Yesterday I wanted to make a cauliflower tart. I have never made a cauliflower tart before and didn’t have a recipe to reference. I did however, have a texture and flavor in mind and I also knew I did not want to add eggs or custard to my tart. I did not want it to turn out like a quiche or be very eggy and thick.
First I had to figure out the crust. I wanted a very thin crust. I considered using phyllo dough but I didn’t have any on hand and didn’t want to run out and buy some. I looked in cookbooks and online. I looked at tart recipes and wasn’t finding what I wanted. Then I had an idea to look at 101cookbooks. I love that website and the author. She has the best recipes and ideas and I often check out her site for ideas. I looked in her section entitled tarts and baked goods and sure enough she had an heirloom tomato tart with a parmesan crust. The crust recipe looked perfect and very simple. Great. I had my crust recipe. Now to figure out the rest of my tart.
I knew I wanted a roasted flavor to the cauliflower and I knew I wanted carmelized onions and garlic in there.
So here is what I did.
Carmelized 1 large sweet onion and several cloves of garlic sliced in slivers with about 1 tsp of salt. Once the onions and garlic were almost carmelized I added about 1 tbs of chopped fresh thyme to the pan and let that meld with the hot oil and carmelized onions.
I chooped my cauliflower into very small florets. Drizzled it with some olive oil and salt and roasted in a 425 oven for about 25 minutes.
Once the crust was baked I added about 1 1/2 cups of finely grated cheese to the bottom of the tart shell. I used a combination of dutch Parrano (nutty and delicious!) and Gruyere because they both melt nicely. I layered the cheese with the onions and garlic mixture and topped with the cauliflower. I returned to the 425 degree oven for about 10 more minutes and the result was the perfect cauliflower tart. It was seriously delicious. I will make this over and over again.I don’t want to change a thing about this tart.
Here is Heidi’s Crust recipe from 101cookbooks which I follwed exactly (this crust is all buttery yummy goodness):
1 t. fine-grain sea salt
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsalted organic butter, well chilled + cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4-ounce chunk of good fresh Parmesan, microplane-grated (you should end up with about 2 cups loosely packed grated cheese. Save any leftover grated cheese for sprinkling on the crusts when they come out of the oven.
2 T. ice cold water
2T. best quality extra virgin olive oil
preheat the oven to 350
Make the tart crust(s):
Place both flours, butter, and Parmesan in a food processor and pulse quickly about 25 times. You are looking for a sandy textured blend, punctuated with pea-sized pieces of butter. With a few more pulses, blend in the 2T of ice water. The dough should stick together when your pinch it between two fingers. Pour the dough into the tart pan. Working quickly, press the dough uniformly into the pan by pressing across the bottom and working towards the sides and up to form a rim. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes.
Bake the tart crust:
Pull the tarts out of the refrigerator and poke each a few times with the tongs of a fork. Cover the tart with a square of aluminum foil and fill generously with pie weights. Place on a baking sheet and slide the tart onto the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, pull the shell out of the oven and very gently peel back and remove the tinfoil containing the pie weights. Place the uncovered tart back in the oven, weight free, and allow to cook for another 10 minutes, or until it is a deep golden brown in color. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little shredded Parmesan (this will act as another barrier to the tomato liquid). Let cool to room temperature before filling.
For the Filling:
1 large onion sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic sliced into slivers
1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
Extra Virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup grated dutch parrano cheese
3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
1 head of cauliflower cut into tiny florets and roasted
Carmelize onions and garlic, add thyme and salt.
Add grated cheese to pie shell, top with carmelized onion mixture and finally with cauliflower florets. Bake 10 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Serve warm.