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Cauliflower Cheese Pie with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

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This recipe has gone through several incarnations! The first version, I got from friend, colleague and fellow-foodie, Charlie Nuttell MD, on Facebook. I tried his but forgot to include the cheese, so not too good. This is not to say, that his wouldn’t be wonderful (if I had done it right); and I will try it again, soon.

 

The second adaptation had the cheese and was delicious but I didn’t take a photo of it. This particular (above) third try doesn’t resemble, at all, the original, since I adapted it into a whole new recipe. The photo above shows the cauliflower pie out of the oven, tasted by me, photo taken, last bit of mozzarella added, and ready to go into the oven for a quick melt before my dear husband (and loyal recipe guinea pig) returns from a conference in Boston.

 

For the pie, you can use what you see, above, a nice pie dish (I got this one from Williams-Sonoma), or use whatever non-stick pan you have, or try an inexpensive disposable aluminum pie pan. It doesn’t even have to be round.

 

To measure truffle oil, I use a medicine dropper from CVS drugstore. Be sure to rinse it out right after using and after it dries, keep in a small plastic zipper bag, to be used only for the truffle oil. Truffle oil is fragrant but powerful, so trust me, measure it drop by drop.

 

When I make cauliflower mashed like “mashed potatoes” I add a few drops of truffle oil, which really elevates this dish, in a big way. Or if you’re still making regular mashed potatoes, use a few drops of truffle oil, and expect to be impressed by its deliciousness.

 

Ingredients

 

1 large head of cauliflower

2 cloves garlic, juiced

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

4-6 oz. low fat mozzarella cheese (save some for garnish)

1 onion, sliced

Pinch salt (optional)

Pinch black pepper (grind to your taste)

3 drops, black or white truffle oil, (or to your taste)

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup pine nuts, toasted

Olive oil cooking spray

 

Directions

 

1. Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees.

2. Chop the cauliflower into chunks and place into microwave for about 5 minutes or until soft

 

Or – steam the whole head of cauliflower and then place into the food processor.

 

3. Spray a fry pan once with the olive oil, and cook the onion until it’s golden brown. Set aside

4. When you place the cauliflower into a food processor, also put in the cooked onions, then blend until it’s a mashed potato texture

5. In a large bowl, stir together cauliflower/onions, eggs, cheese, truffle oil and seasoning, garlic juice, raisins, pine nuts

6. Spray once, a baking pan (non-stick, if you have it) with spray olive oil (now, oil the whole pan with paper towel) and fill with the cauliflower mixture (about 1/2 inch thick). Use a spatula to get every last bit of it out and onto the baking pan.

7. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the top starts to brown. Keep your eye on this pie so it doesn’t burn.

8. Just before serving, add additional cheese to the top, put in oven for a few minutes, until the cheese melts. Serve and enjoy!

 

This recipe is versatile; it lends itself as an appetizer with some chilled white wine, before dinner; easily a veggie side dish with poached fish or seafood; could be a snack or a delicious addition to any brunch.

 

AFTERWARDS: (Friday Saturday Sunday)

 

Worn out, after traveling from a rewarding Boston conference, my loyal spouse, arriving home, poured himself some icy white wine (Orvieto from Umbria), relaxed in his favorite chair, and sank his teeth into this warm cauliflower melting-cheese pie. He loved it and announced he was going to have it for breakfast on Saturday. We slept later Saturday morning so he had it for brunch before leaving for the theater. Now Sunday, we plan to have the remaining pie with wine early this evening, along with other leftover yummy things like sherry mushrooms, garlic broccoli, and scallops.

 

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Enjoy!

 

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