Monday, September 27, 2010

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower & Caramelized Onion Frittata and Figgy Salad

I will admit upfront that this meal used an absurd amount of dishes. I only sort of anticipated this. And, to be honest, I'm not sure there's a way to cut down on the number of dishes used; some things just are what they are.

Having said that, this would be such an elegant dish to serve at a brunch. It came out light, fluffy, savory, with a hint of sweetness from the onions - definitely a taste winner. There were a few setbacks, however: the aforementioned dishstravaganza; and the fact that the frittata clung stubbornly to the bottom of its baking dish even though I buttered the crap out of it. Next time, I'd cook it in a nonstick pan - like what you'd bake a cake in (9" X 9").

If you're an egg person, you'll probably really like this recipe. It's not as frou-frou as a quiche (not that I'm knocking quiche, I love the stuff), but it's a bit fancier than, say, scrambled eggs and toast for dinner (which I eat embarrassingly often).

This is a Meatless Monday post, but of course you could meat this up a bit. I actually tweaked it from a Food & Wine recipe that used bacon. Bacon would be delicious (DUH), as would ham, sausage, pancetta, etc. The great thing about a recipe like this is you can just take the base ingredients and swap them out to your liking. Hate cauliflower? Swap it for broccoli or asparagus. Not a fan of caramelized onions? You may be crazy, but nonetheless you could skip those, too.

Make this one your own! And go with a nonstick pan, for cryinoutloud - in fact, bring out the Pam spray! You'll thank me later.


8 eggs, beaten
splash of half and half
salt and pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
sprinkle of sugar
2 medium (or one giant) onion, halved and sliced thinly
1 T. olive oil
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
sprinkle of water
fresh chopped parsley
lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Salad Dressing:
5-6 fresh figs, quartered
~1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
drizzle of honey
squirt of mustard
spring mix
sliced cucumbers
1 medium carrot, sliced
2 T. olive oil


Heat a pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter and sliced onions. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes, until caramelized. Sprinkle a little sugar over the onions and cook for a few more minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.


Heat an ovenproof dish (such as a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat (if you don't have a cooking pot that can transfer from the stovetop to the oven, no worries - just cook the cauliflower, add it to the eggs, then pour it all in a casserole dish). Add a little olive oil, then add the cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, until cauliflower is beginning to turn golden brown. Add about a 1/4 cup water to the pan, add the garlic, cover, and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 8 minutes.


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, beat eggs, half and half, salt and pepper, parsley, and a good amount of parmesan cheese in a large bowl. When the onion is cool, stir it into the egg mixture. When cauliflower is done, scoop it out and allow to cool on a plate. Rinse and wipe out the ovenproof dish. Rub a little butter into the dish. Pour the egg/onion mixture into the dish, then sprinkle the cauliflower around. Top with more grated parmesan. Bake until frittata is set, about 30 minutes. When set, switch oven to broil, and cook under the broiler until the top is brown in places.


While the frittata is baking, put the balsamic and figs (with a pinch of salt) in a small saucepan, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes, until figs have basically disintegrated into the vinegar. Remove from heat, transfer to food processor, add squeeze of honey, and process until smooth. Add the mustard. Process again, and drizzle the olive oil in through the top until the mixture is emulsified. Set aside while you get the salad greens ready. Toss the greens with the dressing. Slice the frittata into pieces, serve with the salad, and enjoy!

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