How to Make the Most Delicious Cauliflower Cheese Pie Recipe
|By Meg Jones - wife, mother,
Cauliflower pie is a savory dish that features cauliflower as the main ingredient. It is a variation of a traditional pie where cauliflower is used as a filling instead of meat or fruit.
The pie typically consists of a crust made from flour, butter, and water and a creamy filling made with cooked cauliflower, cheese, eggs, and various herbs and spices. The cauliflower is usually cooked until tender before being mixed with the other ingredients and baked in the oven until the crust is golden and the filling is set.
Cauliflower pie is a delicious and satisfying option for vegetarians or those looking for a tasty way to incorporate more vegetables into their meals.
Cauliflower, a versatile vegetable, is a member of the Brassica oleracea family. With its dense, compact florets and crisp texture, cauliflower offers a delightful addition to various culinary creations. Its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it a favorite in both raw and cooked dishes.
Whether roasted, steamed, mashed, or pureed, cauliflower provides a healthy, low-calorie alternative to starchy foods. Rich in vitamins C and K and dietary fiber, cauliflower offers numerous health benefits. This cruciferous vegetable inspires creative and nutritious recipes for those seeking a vibrant and wholesome diet, from cauliflower rice and pizza crusts to buffalo cauliflower bites.
Last weekend, my daughter and I took a day trip to NYC to see the matinee of Hamilton (amazing show, and amazing that we could get tickets!). A winter storm was already in progress when we emerged from the theater, so we didn’t want to hang out in New York for dinner.
We headed home to a “light” supper of cheese fondue that RG had prepared for us. Cauliflower (blanched) is a staple in our cheese fondue; we prepared more than we could eat. So, the next day I had to figure out what to do with the leftovers.
With day-old veggies, I usually think of soup, but the cauliflower triggered a memory from my college cooking days – cauliflower cheese pie from the Moosewood Cookbook. Back then, Moosewood was the go-to vegetarian cookbook, especially for people on a limited budget like me and my roommates.
The pie I made is really simple, and the ingredients are easy to find if not already on hand. Think quiche but with a potato crust.
When I prepared this over the weekend, I conferred with my Moosewood (much the worse for wear) but improvised along the way based on what we had on hand.
Here’s what I did:
Cauliflower Cheese Pie Recipe
For the crust
For the Filling
- 1 head cauliflower or could substitute broccoli or other veg, blanched and chopped into small florets
- 1 onion
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese about 1 cup shredded or other mild cheese
- 2 eggs
- splash milk maybe ¼ cup or so
For the Crust
- I put the shredded potatoes in a colander, salted them, and let them sit for about 15 minutes.
- Then I squeezed as much water out of them as possible before mixing them with the onion, egg, and salt and pepper.
- I pressed the mixture into a greased pie plate so it resembled crust.
- I baked this in a 400° F oven for about 40 minutes; halfway through I sprayed cooking oil on the crust to help it brown.
For the Filling
- While the crust cooked, I took the leftover cauliflower, chopped it into smaller pieces, and sautéed it with a chopped onion.
- I added some herbs de Provence that I had on hand but you could add anything you like – basil, thyme, parsley for example. Once this was soft, I set it aside.
- I grated the block of cheese.
- When the crust was done, I sprinkled half the cheese on the bottom of the crust, added the cauliflower mixture, and topped with the rest of the cheese.
- Then I whisked the 2 eggs and milk together and poured over the filling.
- The pie went back into the oven at a lower temperature of 375 for about 30 minutes, until the center was set.
- I let the pie cool for about ten minutes before slicing and serving for a midday snack.
This concoction was a home run in many ways. For example, it brought back happy memories of my college years, it was super easy and used up some leftovers, it was a hit with my family, and it fits in nicely with new habits I am trying to build, namely: reducing sugar intake, make veggies at least 50% of every meal, and limit bread consumption.
My daughter liked it so much that she specifically requested I set a piece aside for her to pack for her school lunch the next day. All in all, vegetable success story!