It looks like this blog is turning into a recipe blog. Maybe that’s because in this hectic time of mainly caretaking and basically surviving, cooking is one of the things I still manage to do successfully, and occasionally even have a little fun with. For decades now, I have been making a cauliflower quiche that’s to die for. But I hadn’t made it in a while, because the recipe uses a wheat flour crust, and you may remember that in this household we are spending the year gluten-free.
I got the original recipe out of this WONDERFUL 1981 cookbook edited by Janeth Jonathan Nix, who has since written many fine cookbooks. If you ever get a chance to obtain a copy of this one, go for it. Every recipe is a delicious treasure from the whole wheat zucchini pizza, through the Armenian vegetable casserole to the oatmeal pancakes with blueberry sauce! It is unfortunately now out of print.
What you do is make a quiche crust and partially bake it and then put in a quiche filling and bake it some more. In the original recipe, you made an oatmeal crust. However, what I did was to try the pie crust recipe on Bob’s Red Mill Wheat-Free Biscuit and Baking Mix for the first time. It IS a little bit tricky to make, because gluten-free flour does not hold together like wheat flour. I managed to douse my iPhone in pie crust mix when I flipped the crust over into the pie plate. Won’t make that mistake again. And I also had to patch up the crust quite a bit. I certainly don’t mind doing this, but I’d say most cooks would rather take a pre-made pie crust out of a package. There. I’ve been completely honest with you. HOWEVER, if you are on a gluten-free diet, and you PINE for pie with a pie crust, this may just be your best bet. Because the crust turns out to be crunchy and delicious, or at least as delicious as a gluten-free pie crust ever gets to a wheat flour hound.
And now, there’s the quiche filling. I’ll give you the recipe just the way it was in the original 1981 cookbook. The recipe was called “Golden Cauliflower Quiche” on p. 41, now stained with oil and batter in my copy.
1 small head (about 1 lb.) cauliflower
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup each milk and mayonnaise
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded longhorn cheese (I use cheddar)
1/8 tsp. each pepper and ground nutmeg (I double these)
Prebake the crust. The flour version bakes in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, the gluten-free version in a preheated 425 degree oven for 16 minutes.
“Meanwhile, cut the cauliflower into 1/2 inch pieces. (You should have 4 cups.) Steam over boiling water until just crisp-tender (about 4 minutes.) Drain, plunge into cold water to cool, then drain again.
“Spread almonds in a shallow pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned (you should check). Place cauliflower in bottom of pastry shell and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
“In a blender or food processor, whirl eggs, milk, and mayonnaise until smooth. Add 1 1/4 cups of cheese, along with pepper and nutmeg, and whirl briefly to mix. Pour over cauliflower and nuts in pastry shell. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
“Bake on bottom rack of a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until an knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving. Makes six servings.”
I make several little modifications, but you will gradually develop this into a dependable recipe, because it is worth serving again. Tonight, I served it with a fancy spinach salad—lots of goodies like nuts, blueberries, goat cheese, black olives, pearl onions and the like with a vinaigrette dressing, Golden Monkey tea and a glass of Trinity Oaks Chardonnay.