Eggs make a quick and easy weeknight meal. Add a few simple ingredients and whip up this easy, comforting Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Frittata. Smoked cheddar brings this vegetarian comfort meal to whole other level!
Breaking down a head of cauliflower can be a bit messy. But it's really quite simple. Give yourself lots of space and get to it! Cut it in half lengthwise and then into quarters. Starting from the top of each quarter, cut the core away from the florets. Pull apart the florets and cut into smaller pieces.
Place the florets on a baking tray. You can use an ungreased tray or line it with parchment for easier clean up. Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Remove enough leaves from the thyme sprigs to produce about 1 tsp of chopped thyme that will be added in later. Lay the remaining thyme sprigs on top. This will infuse flavour into the cauliflower as it roasts.
While the cauliflower is roasting you can start working on the other ingredients. Leeks are a lovely, mild, sweet onion. They become very buttery when cooked. You can, of course, substitute a diced white or vidalia onion and cook a little longer, until they are nice and soft. The dark green parts of the leeks are tough so they are cut off and discarded. This can seem like a waste but if you like to make your own stocks, you can keep them in the freezer until ready to use.
Leeks can be very sandy and sometimes hard to rinse clean. For a really good wash place the sliced leeks in a bowl and cover them with a generous amount of cold water. Then slosh around with your hand and leave to sit for one to two minutes. This allows the dirt, which is heavier, settle to the bottom while the leeks float to the top. Scoop them out with your hand or a slotted spoon and into a colander to drain. I use this same washing method with sandy lettuces too. Works like a charm!
If you don't have a cast iron skillet don't sweat it. Use a large non-stick skillet that is 12 inches in diameter. My pan is 2 1/2 inches deep but, as you can see in the photo above, there is still room so you could go with 1 1/2 inches deep. If you'd like more information regarding cast iron skillets see my post here.
This recipe uses a combination of smoked cheddar and regular mozzarella. The smokiness of the cheddar is a perfect compliment to the nutty cauliflower and sweet leeks. If you can't find smoked cheddar you can substitute with a a combination of old cheddar and smoked mozzarella and change the amounts to equal parts. You can play around with the cheese as much as you like in this recipe and substitute with just about any kind. I particularly like the smoky flavour with the cauliflower and leeks and the mozzarella adds gooeyness - which we all need more of in our lives right?
If the frittata looks a bit pale after baking you can put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Add a salad and you have an easy and delicious meatless meal! It's also fantastic as leftovers for lunch or dinner.
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Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Frittata
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 leeks
- 12 large eggs
- 1 cup yogurt, 2% or higher
- 150 g smoked cheddar
- 50 g mozzarella
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- Cut cauliflower into quarters, lengthwise, and remove core. Cut into small pieces and place on baking tray.
- Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to mix.
- Remove enough thyme leaves from stems to produce about 1 tsp of chopped thyme, set aside. Place remaining sprigs over cauliflower.
- Roast for 15 minutes, stirring half way through. Remove from oven and discard thyme sprigs. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
- While cauliflower is roasting prepare the leeks.
- Remove the dark green ends of leeks, keeping only the white and light green parts. Cut off the root end. Slice in half lengthwise then slice across into approximately 1/2 cm (1/4") slices.
- Place in large bowl and fill with cold water. Agitate leeks with your hand to release any dirt. Let stand in water for 1-2 minutes. Lift leeks from bowl and into a colander to drain.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute leeks for approximately 5 minutes or until soft. Leave in pan but remove from heat and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
- Grate both cheeses and mix together in a bowl.
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, yogurt, salt and pepper. Add approximately 3/4 of the cheese mixture and stir
- When cauliflower is done, add to skillet with leeks. Mix in chopped thyme. Pour over the egg mixture and stir gently to combine. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 50-60 minutes or until set in the center. If desired, broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Fritatta will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.