Another vegetarian recipe that assumes you’ve replaced the meat in your life with copious amounts of dairy instead (preferably cheese, my favourite vegetable and meat-substitute). Part of what I love about cheese-forward recipes is that they are usually amenable to being made with any cheese that remotely resembles the one listed in the recipe. This recipe adheres to that flexibility by working with any smoked cheese, whether it be gouda, provolone, mozzarella, or another interesting offering that you might want to test out or use up. The only non-negotiable is that one of your cheeses must be smoked since the flavour of the smokiness really lends the frittata a super sating, almost meaty quality that pairs gloriously with the roasted cauliflower.
Roasted Cauliflower Frittata
Adapted generously from Yotam Ottolenghi (Plenty)
Serves 6-8, depending on what else you’re serving (6 seems more realistic to me but my portion control instinct is not to be trusted)
1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets, core and leaves discarded
6 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 tbsp crème fraiche (or full-fat sour cream)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp smoked paprika (sweet or hot)
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
5 oz (~1 ½ cups) grated cacciovallo cheese (or other smoked cheese, such as smoked gouda)
2 oz (~ very generous ½ cup) grated aged cheddar cheese
½ medium yellow onion, diced
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven heats, toss the cauliflower florets with 4 tbsp olive oil and a very generous scattering of salt and pepper. I find cauliflower florets to be like potatoes in that they need a really good dose of seasoning in order to taste like their true self. Arrange the florets in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes (just until you starts seeing some brown edges, but not much crisping up) then toss well and roast for another 10 minutes or until very crispy and golden. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Set the cauliflower aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs well. Whisk in the crème fraiche, mustard, and paprika until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Stir in the chives and roughly ¾ of the cheeses, leaving the rest of the cheese for sprinkling on top of the frittata.
Heat a large (~10 inch), oven-proof skillet over medium-low. I used this pan, which is my go-to for most dishes as it distributes heat evenly like cast-iron but is also quite non-stick (while still being oven-proof!) Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and, once hot, add in the diced onion, sautéing until fragrant and lightly golden (~5-7 minutes). Season the onion with a pinch of salt. Toss in the roasted cauliflower and stir together gently to mix with the sautéed onion. Spread the cooked veggies in an even layer in the skillet. Give the egg mixture a quick whisk before pouring evenly over the veggies (make sure the cheese gets distributed and doesn’t fall out in a big clump). Cook the frittata over medium-low for ~5 minutes, swirling the pan every so often to allow the eggs to fill in any gaps or shallower parts. I also like to gently run a rubber spatula along the edge of the pan to ensure that the bottom and sides of the frittata are not browning too quickly. The frittata should still be quite runny at this point. Scatter the remaining cheeses on top of the frittata and carefully transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes until set, then broil just until the top takes on a bit more colour and the cheese has browned up nicely. Remove from the heat and let sit a few minutes before cutting into wedges and serving to all of your fancy, vegetarian, brunch-loving friends.