Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cauliflower Pie

My professor and foodie-friend Helen sent me this recipe awhile back, and I finally got around to making it.  Actually, it was really convenient: I made the cauliflower mixture for this recipe (at right) and the batter for the chickpea-artichoke bites ahead of time, and today I was able to turn on the oven and just throw both dishes in.

I was worried about this dish, because it seemed like you'd really need the egg not only for consistency but also for flavor.  I thought about using tofu and riffing off some vegan quiche recipe, but then that seemed too hard, and it kind of creeps me out how some vegans end up putting tofu in everything.  So I stuck by the flavorless, invisible ener-g egg replacer, adding a pinch of turmeric for color and for a slightly pungent flavor, and adding nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor (and also color).  I want to get my hands on some kala namak, or black salt, and see what it does for "eggy" flavors.

It turned out a lot better than I thought it would!  Cauliflower gets strangely creamy when prepared this way, especially given that it's baked with not only the "egg" and the nutritional yeast, but also the flour and the oil.  It sort of melts in your mouth, and the breadcrumbs are nicely crunchy.  I thought it was a little bland, so in addition to using more garlic, salt, and pepper, I might experiment with adding some thyme or something.

Cauliflower Pie

1 large white cauliflower
5 TB olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, slightly beaten (I used ener-g egg replacer)
pinch turmeric (added)
some nutritional yeast (added)
2 TB unbleached flour
4 TB coarse bread crumbs

1. With a sharp knife, separate flowerettes and discard the core of the cauliflower.  Boil the flowerettes in slightly salted water for 15 minutes or so until they are fork tender but not mushy.  Drain and mash.
2. Heat 3 TB of oil in a large skillet, add the garlic, and cook for one minute or so, but don’t let the garlic burn.  Add the mashed cauliflower, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir over high heat until excess moisture has evaporated.
3. Remove from heat and let cool.  Add eggs, turmeric, nutritional yeast, and flour, and mix to combine.  Pour into an oiled oven-proof pan (I used a loaf pan) sprinkled with some of the bread crumbs.  Spread evenly with a spatula, top with remaining breadcrumbs and oil, bake in 450* F oven for 30 minutes or so until top begins to brown.


danielle said...
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Caitlin said...

this looks so good! i love cauliflower!