This is my version of the Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart from Smitten Kitchen. It solved my dilemma of how to use the second half of my rather large cauliflower. I made a few minor changes so that I could use the ricotta and provolone cheese in the fridge, instead of heading out to buy mascarpone and Swiss cheese.
This tart was so full of flavour...sweet onions, thyme roasted cauliflower, cheese and crisp pastry. The leftover tart was even tastier cold, the next day, according to my husband. I ate the last piece today, heated up, and it was just as tasty as when it was made. A dish that keeps well and improves with age is always a good one...
There are a lot of different steps to this tart, but most can be made ahead, so with a bit of pre-planning it all comes together very quickly for baking.
Start off by making the pastry from the post Goat Cheese Tart with Grape Tomatoes and Fresh Basil. Line a 10" tart shell with the pastry, and blind bake it. Set aside until needed.
Bake at 400F until tender:
1/2 large cauliflower, cut into 1/2" thick slices
3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
salt and pepper
olive oil to coat
Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.
Thinly slice and caramelize in olive oil:
1 1/2 medium onions
Season with salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.
Brush the bottom of the baked tart shell with a thin layer of Dijon mustard.
To make the filling, whisk together:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup grated Provolone cheese
Spread the caramelized onions over the bottom of the pastry shell.
Cover the onions with the cooled, roasted cauliflower, breaking up some of the bigger pieces if necessary.
Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the cauliflower and onions.
Sprinkle more grated Provolone cheese over the tart.
Place the tart shell onto a baking sheet.
Bake at 350F until the filling is puffed and golden, and the filling is set in the centre, about 40 - 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow the tart to rest for 5 - 10 minutes before removing from the tart shell and cutting.
Serve the tart hot,, at room temperature, or even cold...this gives the flexibility of adding it to work and school lunches. Add a salad and your dinner (or lunch) is ready!
- No time or inclination to make your own pastry? A store bought tart shell or pastry can be used instead.
- I added the fresh thyme and garlic to the cauliflower; if you have leftover roasted cauliflower use that instead. This is a perfect way to make use of it.
- Add other flavours to your cauliflower for roasting if you like. Try olive oil and curry paste (Thai or Indian); yoghurt, honey and herbs; paprika and Parmesan.
- The pastry can be made ahead, the tart shell can be lined and even baked a day ahead. All stages of this can also be frozen. If you freeze the baked shell do not defrost it before filling it.
- The onions can be caramelized a day ahead. The cauliflower can also be roasted a day ahead, if you aren't using leftover cauliflower.
- Use broccoli instead of cauliflower for something different.
- I drained my ricotta cheese in cheesecloth to remove the extra moisture so that the filling would not be too wet. If you use mascarpone cheese, cream cheese or goat cheese instead that is not necessary.
- As I mentioned, I used my Provolone cheese, instead of the Swiss cheese and Parmesan called for in the Smitten Kitchen recipe. Any type of cheddar (white, orange or smoked) could be used as well.