CARAMELIZED CAULIFLOWER FRITTATA
The weather is turning colder,leaves falling, days growing shorter…the need for a quick fix supper is the need of the hour.Wondering what to cook, I open the refrigerator wherein lies the answers to most of the hunger pangs.The cauliflower is sitting pretty making eye contact with the eggs, while the mozzarella cheese is a silent observer to the ongoing romance, what better way than watch the sparks fly,so here I am creating “FRITTATA” an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche, enriched with additional vegetables,cheese,meat or pasta.
Food to me is always associated with memories,the people you shared it with ,so stepping back in time, here I was ,probably a kid of ten or twelve, awaiting the arrival of my Italian Aunt( her first time to India), with the excitement little kids have in meeting a new member of the family. She steps out of the car still holding my Uncle’s hand, full of smile & cheer ,goes about greeting , hugging & kissing every member of the family.We hold our breath as she walks past each male member of the family, blissfully unaware that kissing them on the cheek is “not a done thing” in Indian culture,yet curious to watch our elders expression as they get a peck on the cheek.Then came the famous “lip lock” of our times when she turns around & kissed my Uncle saying how happy she was to meet everyone finally,there was magic in the air,the most romantic kiss I had seen until that day!!!! Beats me to this day to remember the smiles on our grand moms ,aunts,and mom’s faces go about their chores unperturbed ( the ones who would not let us children watch one kissing scene and would shut the TV off in the midst of a movie ) while for us kids it was the hot topic of the day smile emoticon She was gentle & kind, would talk to us about Italian culture, Italian cooking etc & though at that time I was too young to capture the essence of it, Italian to me would always mean her,because she was the first Italian I met. So nearly two decades later, I’m venturing to cook my first Italian dish in her memory, hopefully its as interesting as the kiss( For us kids it was like a disney movie animation then) Enjoy your Frittata and make beautiful memories for tomorrows to come
Cauliflower-one small head (cut into bite size florets)
Olive oil- 3-4 tbsp
Garlic- 3-4 (cloves-minced fine)
Whole milk/Thick cream- 1/2 cup
Ground Pepper- 1/2 tsp
Paprika- a pinch or two
Sweet Basil leaves- 3-4 ( to sprinkle on top)
Salt- to taste
Mozzarella cheese- for topping
1.Rinse the cauliflower in cold water & sauté it in oil.
2.To this add the garlic,paprika, fine ground pepper, salt & keep stirring for a few minutes, until lots of dark brown caramelized spots appear on the cauliflower,this makes it luscious & savory unlike the steamed version
3.Now add the beaten egg along with the milk/cream on top & transfer this to a preheated oven( 350 degrees for 10 minutes), after sprinkling the herbs( sweet basil) and mozzarella cheese on top.
4.Bake it in the oven for 20- 30 minutes, when it starts to brown on top, check to see if the egg is cooked & not runny by poking with a fork
5.Now transfer this pan to a cooling rack, serve when its just warm enough to eat.Have a protein rich veggie meal cooked in a jiffy on a hungry weeknight.