Thursday, July 5, 2012
Caprese & Cauliflower Tart
When I started planning our Fourth of July party at our house, I knew I wanted to make a few vegetarian starters. I already had a flatbread that I was making, so I wanted to do something a little lighter. I've had a tomato and goat cheese tart on my list of things to make for over a year now. I started out thinking I'd make that. Then decided I'd do a tomato and mozzarella tart since I had an over abundance of basil. How that tart shell turned into a cauliflower tart shell, I don't know. I just thought it would be lighter since we had all that dough in the flatbread.
I am so glad I did this! It was as good as every review I've read of cauliflower crust. I didn't vary much from the typical pizza crust recipes I've seen. Just that I baked it in a tart shell, instead of on a pizza stone. And since I was going to top it with a caprese salad, I used basil instead of oregano in the shell. (Truthfully, I'd probably do that anyhow. I like basil better than oregano.)
Not only was it delicious, but so easy! You can rice your cauliflower with a food processor for speed, or with a cheese grater if you don't have a food processor. I used a cheese grater, because I really hate cleaning my food processor. It only took a few minutes, and I have enough cauliflower left over for at least 2 more crusts.
The "crust" held up so well against the wet tomatoes and mozzarella. It didn't get soggy, since there is no flour. It had great flavor and I was asked a few times, "Where is the cauliflower in this?" It was a great addition to our early party noshing. But this would make a great light lunch, too.
Next week, I am going to make it in pizza crust form and top it with sauce, cheese and mushrooms for the kids. I'm eager to see them devour this with the enthusiasm of standard pizza.
Caprese and Cauliflower Tart
Tart shell recipe adapted from eat.drink.smile.
1 head cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
olive oil, optional
3-4 fresh tomatoes, sliced
2 large fresh mozzarella balls, sliced
drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
To rice the cauliflower:
Remove the stems and leaves from the cauliflower. Quarter it and remove the core. Grate the cauliflower on a cheese grater (or pulse in a food processor). Place the riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 8 minutes. Do not add water, the moisture of the cauliflower will be enough.
Measure 1 cup of cooked, riced cauliflower and set aside for the tart. The remainder can be refrigerated for up to one week (or frozen for 1 month).
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a tart pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup cauliflower, mozzarella, egg, basil, garlic, salt and pepper with a fork. Transfer to the tart pan and spread to fill the pan and come up the sides, slightly. Bake for 15 minutes.
When cooled, top with mozzarella and tomato slices, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.