How to Make the Most Delicious Cauliflower Cheese Pie Recipe
|By Meg Jones - wife, mother,
Last weekend, my daughter and I took a day trip to NYC to see the matinee of Hamilton (amazing show and amazing that we were able to get tickets!). By the time we emerged from the theater, a winter storm was already in progress, 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 prepared for us. Cauliflower (blanched) is a staple in our cheese fondue and 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
- About 2 cups peeled shredded potatoes (I had 9 loose red potatoes in my drawer so I used those)
- ¼ onion peeled and grated
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
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 – 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 fit in nicely to new habits I am trying to build, namely: reduce sugar intake, make veggies at least 50% of every meal, and limit bread consumption.
My daughter liked it so much 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!