Crustless Cauliflower Quiche with Blue Cheese
Makes: 6 servings
Total carbohydrates: 8 grams per serving
Hands-on time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Let me say, first off: if blue cheese is not your thing, don’t be daunted! Just pretend the recipe is called something else, and swap in cheddar or Swiss or whatever you like best. And if you don’t have cauliflower, use broccoli or greens or whatever vegetable you have and like—just be sure to cook it first so that it doesn’t suddenly release all of its liquid in the oven and make the custard watery. And definitely don’t try to cut into this while it’s still hot as it will fall all to pieces. That’s all, though, for the dire warnings! Because the quiche itself is gorgeously creamy and tender and robustly flavored. Plus, if your cauliflower has seen brighter days, a good, hot sear in the pan will disguise its age.
Olive oil spray or olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons almond meal or almond flour (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium head of cauliflower (or whatever size you have)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (divided use) (or ¾ teaspoon table salt)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley or chives), if you have them
4 large eggs
2 cups half and half (or 1 cup each whole milk and cream, or 2 cups whole milk)
1 tablespoon stoneground or grainy mustard (or Dijon)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (around 4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand and want to use)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9-inch spring-form pan or a deep pie plate with olive oil spray (or olive oil and a paper towel). If you like, sprinkle in the almond meal and tip the pan to coat it (this will create the faint illusion of a crust), or skip this if you don’t have almond meal or don’t want to use it.
Deal with the cauliflower: trim away the thick bottom of the core and the coarse leaves, then slice the head into thin slices, then further cut up any slices that aren’t inclined to fall apart on their own into bite-sized pieces. A medium head will make about 4 cups, but it’s totally fine if you have more or less than this.
Heat the oil and butter in a wide pan over medium-low heat and sauté the onion until it’s fully tender and getting quite brown at the edges, around 15 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium-high, add the cauliflower and half the salt to the pan with the onion, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is brown and fairly tender—another 10 minutes or so. The cauliflower will cook more in the oven, but it needs to be most of the way done at this stage.
Stir the chopped herbs into the veggies, then leave everything in the pan to cool a bit while you prepare the custard.
Whisk together the eggs, half and half, remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, the mustard, and lots of black pepper. Stir in the blue cheese. (I like to microwave a spoonful of this mixture so that I can cook the egg enough to taste for salt and pepper.)
Tip the cauliflower mixture into the spring-form pan or pie plate and spread it out a bit. Pour the custard evenly over it. (If you’re not 100% confident about your spring-form pan and its seaworthiness, put it on a rimmed baking sheet to prevent spills.)
Put the quiche in the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the custard is golden and browning and just barely jiggles when you jiggle it. If you used a spring-form pan, then cool the quiche a bit and run a thin knife around the edge before removing the outer ring. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold, with a crisp green salad (if you still have salad greens) or maybe a nice cabbage slaw.