Friday, March 11, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower Tart

Sense of Home

Roasted Cauliflower Tart
~adapted from the recipe of the same name in The Earthbound Cookbook~
Makes one 9-inch tart

1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), separated into 1-inch florets (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons truffle oil or olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, cut in half through the stem end and then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 large eggs
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp Provolone
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pie Crust
Makes 2 crusts
(use just one crust for the tart, other ball of dough may be frozen and used later)
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup ice cold water 

Mix flour and salt together.  Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry cutter until mixture is pea size crumbs.  Then add water and mix with hands just until it forms a ball, do not overwork.  Add more water by the tablespoon if dough is too dry to form a ball, however the ball should be on the dry side and not be too moist or sticky.

Divide the dough into two balls, chill in refrigerator.


Position a rake in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl, add the truffle oil, and toss to coat.  Transfer the florets to a rimmed baking sheet, spreading them out to form a single layer, season generously with salt and black pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes.  Then flip the florets with a spatula and continue cooking until the cauliflower is tender and browned, 15 to 20 minutes.  Set the florets aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit a room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes to soften. (If the dough is too cold or firm, it will crack when you try to roll it out.)

Lightly dust the workspace, a rolling pin, and the top surface of the dough with flour.  Roll the dough into an 11-inch round, and transfer it to a 9-inch tart pan.  Line the tart shell with parchment, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the tart shell from the oven and lift out the paper and pie weights.  Lightly prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, and return to the oven.  Bake the pastry until it dries slightly and begins to take on a faint color, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the tart shell from the oven and place on a wire rack, allow the crust to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.  Then carefully brush the bottom and sides of the pastry shell with the mustard.  Set it aside at room temperature.

Heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-low heat.  When it is warm, add the olive oil.  Add the onion slices and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften and caramelize, 30 to 40 minutes.  Be patient and do this slowly; the onions should be golden, not brown.

While the onions are cooking, thinly slice the roasted cauliflower florets and set them aside.

Transfer the caramelized onions to the prebaked tart shell and spread them out in a thin layer.  Top with the sliced roasted cauliflower.  Transfer the tart pan to a rimmed baking sheet.

Combine the eggs, cream cheese, cream, white pepper, and nutmeg in a medium-size bowl, and whisk to combine.  Stir in the Fontina and Provolone cheese.  Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and onions in the tart shell, and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.  Bake until the tart is puffed, set in the center, and golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

Transfer the tart to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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