For many years I was a vegetarian. When I wanted a light supper I used to often make soufflés and spoonbreads with pureed vegetables and a little cheese, which I’d eat with a crisp green salad. This easy Cauliflower Spoonbread recipe harkens back to that time. It’s a basic puree with the addition of eggs and salty feta cheese transforming it from a simple side into a complete meal.
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 2-quart, deep-sided baking dish or soufflé dish.
2. Break the cauliflower into florets. Set ½ cup of florets aside to be used in Step 3. Combine the milk, cardamom pods, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the florets, partially cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until florets are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from the heat.
3. Reserve ½ cup of the milk and discard the cardamom and bay leaf. Put the cauliflower into a blender with 1/2 cup of the cooking milk and blend until puréed. (Use caution when blending hot liquids.) Taste for salt. Let cool slightly. Add the egg yolks and blend at high speed and pour into a large bowl.
4. While the florets are simmering, heat the butter in a small frying pan. Take the reserved cauliflower and roughly chop. Fry in the butter until soft and golden. Fold into the cauliflower purée along with two-thirds of the feta cheese.
5. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Take a spoonful and add it to the cauliflower to break up the purée. Add in the rest and gently fold into the cauliflower mixture. Scrape into the prepared dish, sprinkle with the remaining feta and bake for 40 minutes, or until puffy and golden. Eat immediately
Ann's Tips and Tricks
If you have vegetable leftovers, including potatoes you can easily turn them into dinner by pureeing them and using the method of adding eggs described in steps 3 & 5 of this recipe. Add cheese or herbs to taste.