Smoky Cauliflower Frittata

I love my garden and I love my CSA, both of which I treasure for the fresh, delicious, seasonal food they bring into my kitchen.  But I have to admit to a guilty pleasure: the off season.  When I get to select each and every vegetable myself just because I feel like eating it this week.  When I don’t have a bumper crop of arugula or zucchini demanding that I make pesto or relish.  When I don’t have to resist buying some enticing vegetable because my CSA box is groaning under the weight of other harvest bounty.  (I know, some people have real problems, right?)

So anyway, this week, I just up and bought two heads of cauliflower.  I did!  And after you make this frittata for the first time with the reasonable single head of cauliflower you will no doubt purchase at first, I am pretty sure that you will hurry back to the store for two more heads of cauliflower as well.  Just in case you have to make the frittata twice more in rapid succession.  Which might be my plan.

The smokiness here comes from a combination of smoked cheese and smoked paprika, another could-be-overkill-but-isn’t epiphany from the Ottolenghi cookbook Plenty.  I wouldn’t normally say that smoked cheese is my thing, but this frittata is something.  Something good.  J says it tastes meaty.  He means that as a compliment.

This Smoky Cauliflower Frittata would be excellent at any meal, and it is flavorful enough that you could cube it up to serve as a bite-sized party snack (or, you know, a straight-from-the-fridge snack).  In salted water, parboil a small cauliflower, including the stem, cut into medium pieces.  Drain well, then saute in an ovenproof pan with 2 Tbsp. olive oil until the edges of the florets begin to turn golden brown.  Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 and grate and toss together 5 oz. smoked cheese (I used Beechers) and 2 oz. aged cheddar.  In a large bowl, thoroughly combine 6 eggs, 1/4 c. greek yogurt (the original recipe called for creme fraiche), 2 Tbsp. dijon and 2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika, then stir in 3 Tbsp. finely chopped chives and 3/4 of the grated cheese (reserve the remaining cheese for later).  Season well with salt and pepper.  When the cauliflower florets look nice and toasty, pour the egg mixture over the cauliflower and use a fork to distribute the cauliflower and cheese evenly around the pan. Cook about 5 minutes over medium heat.  Scatter remaining cheese on top, move to oven, and cook 10-12 minutes more until the frittata is nearly set.  I like to finish by turning the oven up to a broil for a couple of minutes at the end (leaving the pan on the middle rack) to slightly brown the top.  Let rest a few moments, then serve hot.  (Most frittatas are also great cold or at room temperature, but I preferred this one hot.)  I served it with a plain green salad dressed with this lemony vinaigrette.


23 thoughts on “Smoky Cauliflower Frittata

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I hadn’t either, and I usually can’t cook cauliflower things because I just want to roast it and eat it plain so it all gets eaten off the baking sheet before the next step can happen. But this recipe is worth saving it for!

  1. Cauldrons and Cupcakes

    Yum. And roasted cauliflower? I am trying that tomorrow. Can’t face cooking tonight. Just came in from the paddock after helping a cow with birthing problems (all fixed and we have a new baby heifer I might call Emmy in your honour) It’s dark and rainy and I am gonna make cheese on toast and crawl into bed.

  2. k.m.

    I love that cookbook, but hadn’t gotten round to making this yet. Thanks for the reminder!

    I should also probably look for a CSA to join; sadly where I used to live the CSA had a one-year wait list. Crazy right?

    1. emmycooks Post author

      In a way I guess it’s great for a CSA to have a waiting list–but hopefully if there’s that kind of demand, other local farms will spring up or existing ones will take the hint and work on their organic offerings!

  3. Diana Inslee

    Love this recipe. Ii have made it twice and added a few substitutions. The first time I had some boiled yellow potatoes leftover from a raclette so i sliced those added in saute stage and 1/2 c. diced Red Bell Pepper, seemed to really help the overall color presentation. Did not have plain yogurt so I used chunky buttermilk and a dash of 1/2 & 1/2. Second approach I boiled some sm. red potatoes with the cauliflower and continued, served it with steamed thin asparagus, I love how this can be the total main dish yum!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I love the idea of adding a splash of color with the red pepper. And potatoes would be great here! I made a mushroom and potato frittata for lunch today, but I haven’t tried adding potatoes to the cauliflower in this recipe. I like a high ratio of veggies in my meals, though, so I am always game to add more. Thanks for sharing the ideas! And while I have you and your ideas here, can you tell me what you serve with raclette besides potatoes (and gherkins, of course!)? I married into a raclette set but I think we’ve only used it twice in the past decade for lack of inspiration. Thanks for being part of our cooking community!

      1. Diana Inslee

        I think raclette falls into the category “things you fall in love with as a kid and want to revisit as an adult” I had never had it and I am still kind of lukewarm to the recipe (I don’t get it). I love the little gold potatoes they use in Spain though! Spanish tapas was what I was going for.

  4. Pingback: Roasted Cauliflower Frittata « Fresh Force

  5. Jolene Konnersman

    I followed the spirit of this recipe today for lunch and it turned out to be a wonderful guide! I knew you’d approve of me using up the broccoli, half tomato and left over ricotta I had in the fridge, along with some basil, chives and and parmesan reggiano. Served alongside a simple salad with your lemony-garlicky salad dressing, it was a perfect lunch! Thanks!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Oh, I SO approve. But did you use the smoked Beechers? I usually think I don’t like smoked cheeses but I love that one. I wish I had been at your house for lunch today!

  6. Jolene Konnersman

    I have the same feeling about smoked cheeses, but I make an exception for Rogue’s Smokey Blue, so I guess I should give the Smoked Beecher’s a try, since I do love their Flagship Cheddar! Next time…


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