cauliflower-and-caramelized-onion-tart Recipes

cauliflower and caramelized onion tart

I realize that — short of admitting that I dislike most flourless chocolate cakes and hamburgers generally don’t do it for me — this is going to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever said but here it goes anyway: sometimes I forget to taste all of this delicious food.

sliced onionjust starting to cook the onions30 minute caramelized onionstossing cauliflower with oil to roast

I get busy, you see. Sometimes it’s because I’m bringing it to a party and it gets decimated upon arrival, before I even get a bite or a photo. (See also: S’more Pie.) Sometimes it doesn’t finish cooking until it’s really late and night and I’m full from dinner and forget about it until the next morning and it’s really not breakfast food. (See also: Coq au Vin) But most of the time these days I’m juggling baby while trying to edit photos and jot down notes while willing the baked good to cool so I can cut into it and sometimes, the star of the show ends up hanging out lonely on the counter, wondering if everyone up and left for the party without it.

roasted cauliflowerparmesan and gruyere

In this case, it was particularly ridiculous because from the time I put this tart in the oven, our apartment was flooded with the unholy, resistance-melting aroma of melted, bubbling cheese. The eau de fromage was so intense that it wafted into the hallway, torturing my neighbors as well, I am sure and I can only imagine what tasty thoughts it triggered in the baby’s crazily mopped head. When I pulled the tart from the oven, the top was burnished and nearly crisp and the steam emanating from the crust made me pledge my allegiance to butter all over again. But it wasn’t until I started typing this that I realized I hadn’t actually tried it yet, my distracted nature reaching new heights.

spreading mustard in tart shellcaramelized onions on dijon mustardcauliflower on top of caramelized onionsready to bake

And then, alone in the kitchen with a sleeping baby in the next room, I finally had a bite and let out a resounding “Holy Shitzu!” Except with fewer letters. I mean, I hadn’t expected it to taste bad or nothin’, I just hadn’t expected it to be fork-dropping good. There’s so much going on: a thin, buttery crust. A little sour slick from the mustard, sweetness from the caramelized onions, the richest yet still most lightweight custard that’s browned and salty on top from the Parmesan. Good lord, people. Don’t make my mistake.

cauliflower and caramelized onion tart

One year ago: Red Kidney Bean Curry
Two years ago: Pear and Almond Tart
Three years ago: For Beaming, Bewitching Breads [Bread Making Tips]

Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart
Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2007

This tart is lush, luxe and lovely. Sure, we had it for a Thursday night dinner with the largest and hopefully most artery-clearing pile of salad greens, ever, but something about it seems even better suited for a Ladies Lunch, a brunch or a shower of some sort. I think it’s the truffles. Or the two types of cream. Or the three types of cheese. Or the 30-minute caramelized onions. But should you, would you on a Thursday night while watching 30 Rock and The Office grrWinterOlympics, it is somehow even more welcome, out of place in the best of ways.

I made a slew of changes, from long notes expounding on my innermost feelings about truffle oil (at the end, in case you were at the edge of your seat) to smaller adjustments (more oil for the roasted cauliflower, so it doesn’t stick, as mine always does with less; less parmesan; a homemade crust if you’re feeling it; and the insistence that black pepper is equally welcome as white in this dish; a couple adjusted cooking times) but found the recipe, at its base, to be a delight.

Yields 8 servings

1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound) or 1 pound of a larger head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch flowerets (Romanesco cauliflower, especially orange or green, would be a pretty substitute)
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon truffle oil or a few pinches of truffle salt (optional) (see Notes below)
1 refrigerated pie crust or a homemade tart shell (recipe below)
1 large onion, halved lenghtwise and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 large eggs
1 (7- to 8- ounce) container mascarpone cheese (see Note below for suggested substitutions)
1/2 cup whipping cream (although any low- or full-fat milk or light cream will work as well)
1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (Swiss or Comté are great swaps)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil in large bowl. Spread on rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast 15 minutes before turning florets over and roasting until brown and tender, another 15 minutes in my oven, 25 minutes according to the original recipe. Cool cauliflower then thinly slice (a direction I entirely missed when originally make this; I left my florets in chunks and enjoyed it that way) and drizzle with truffle oil or sprinkle with truffle salt, if using. (See notes below about these ingredients.) Reduce temperature to 350°F.

If using store bought pie crust, press it onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Line crust with foil, fill with pie weights and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights then bake until crust is golden, about 5 additionally minutes. Press crust back with the back of a fork if bubbles form. Cool crust and maintain oven temperature.

[When using the homemade tart crust (recipe below), I do not find that it needs to be par-baked. It is thin and rather dry so it bakes up pretty crisp. Store bought pie doughs are a little bit softer, so the par-baking keeps it from getting soggy.]

Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until onion is a deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. This took me just shy of 30 minutes, though the original recipe suggests 40. Cool slightly.

Use a knife or brush to spread the bottom and sides of crust with mustard. Spread onion over crust. Arrange cauliflower over the onion. Set the tart on a rimmed baking sheet (to protect against leaks). Whisk eggs, mascarpone, cream and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in Gruyère. Pour mixture over filling in tart pan, sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until tart is golden and center is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 15 minutes before serving.

Do ahead: Onions can be caramelized, dough can be parbaked (or rolled and pressed into pan, if homemade) and cauliflower can be roasted a day ahead. Store a parbaked crust at room temperature, a rolled-out unbaked crust and cauliflower and onion in the fridge. Cauliflower and onion should be kept in separate containers. Whole tart can be made and baked a day in advance, reheated in a low oven before serving.

Substitutions for mascarpone cheese: RecipeZaar suggests combining an 8-ounce package of cream cheese (softened), 1/4 cup heavy cream and 2 1/2 tablespoons sour cream for an equal amount of mascarpone in a recipe. However, while not a mascarpone substitute per se, swapping sour cream alone (or even a good ricotta) should yield an equally creamy, lush tart.

About that truffle oil: You know me, right? I abhor fussy ingredients and truffle oil, although wildly popular everywhere outside my kitchen, is at the top of that list. It’s just not my thing. It is expensive, it is synthetic (chemically produced truffle essence), it has a very loud flavor that covers everything around it (aren’t cauliflower and caramelized onions delicious enough?) and while I invite you to use it on this tart (reviewers on Epicurious seemed to love it) I can promise you that you will love the tart with or without it.

What I used instead: The single fussy ingredient in the Smitten Kitchen is a jar of truffle salt I bought an eon ago, before I soured on excess for the sake of itself, and that I fell for because instead of being truffle flavored, it actually has flecks of truffle throughout (something like 40 grams of air-dried and crushed black truffle for every 100 grams of sea salt). Seven years later, my bottle is still three-fourths full because the smallest pinch over a dish (or whisked into vinaigrette, oh you must) and your dish (and your fingers) are delightfully truffled without the truffle flavor shouting over anything else. In this dish, I nixed the salt as I roasted the cauliflower and sprinkled truffle salt over it at the end. The truffle flavor was subtle, just the way I like it. If you’re looking to buy your own, Amazon still has it for the same price I paid back then.

A Great Savory Tart Shell
Adapted from Le Pain Quotidien, also seen here

This doesn’t need par-baking to keep from getting soggy and barely shrinks in the oven. Sold!

1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, diced
1 egg

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and one-fourth teaspoon salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or two knives until it is in very tiny bits. Add one egg and mix with a fork until a dough forms. If this does not happen easily, toss it out onto a counter and knead it together. This dough is rather tough but with a little elbow grease, it does come together nicely. (Dough can also be made in a food processor, or as the original recipe suggests, in a stand mixer, though I have not tested in in the latter.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan and press to remove any air bubbles. Crimp the edges, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Proceed with a filling of your choice, no parbaking required.

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315 comments on cauliflower and caramelized onion tart

  1. Wow, that looks great! The smell of bubbling cheese is the best. I can’t imagine making something without tasting it. Aren’t you worried about showing up to a party with something that tastes funny? Not that you would, of course, but that would be my concern!

    1. Lindsay — Nah, my friends expect by now to be guinea pigs. It comes with the “Hey I Baked Something Ridiculous Want To Try It?” territory.

      Michelle — I understand. It has its strengths but it does not come close to filling the Gourmet void for me.

  2. This cauliflower and caramelized onion tart sounds amazing! I’m just imagining the thick strands of caramelized onions draped over by meaty roasted cauliflower and a beautifully complex Gruyère cheese, I adore Comté also!

    I recently visited a truffle producer in the South of France who wagged his fingers in disapproval over purchasing truffle oil for the same reasons you cited. He recommended making a jar at home if we desired, but your recommendation of truffle salt as a substitute is excellent. I like that your container is still almost full after seven years.

  3. Michelle~ I totally agree with you! I am so not big on B.A. (except when there’s an Molly from Orangette column). I’m going to give Cooking Light a try (fings X’d!) as a possible replacement.

    I’m brain-storming substitutions as cauliflower always has reminded me of brains. It’s winter, so sausage is the first thing to come to mind. But Brussels sprouts also sound good.

  4. Oh boy – that looks so good that I can’t wait to try it. And Jacob is the most adorable little boy – I love, love, love his hair!!!

  5. I’ve been wanting to do a savory onion tart since I read Nigella Lawson’s recipe in her book, but then I googled it and people seemed to HATE her recipe. I may wait until summer to give this one a shot, as it seems like perfect picnic food to take to Govenor’s Island. Also, I will need to buy a tart tin…

  6. Awesome! I am on the hunt for vegetarian dishes since I’m swearing off meat (for the most part) during lent and this is perfect to add to my arsenal. Thanks for posting!

    Also,you have the cutest baby ever ::cheek pinch::

  7. With the cauliflower and caramelized onions alone I would normally be sold, but when I saw the picture with the mustard, this recipe went to the must have for lunch this minute. The tang seems like a nice contrast to the rest of it. Now I’m thinking mustard breadcrumbs on my standard cauliflower gratin. Thanks Deb, as always!

  8. It’s probably not cool for me to admit this, since I garden for a living, but I have never liked cauliflower. However, onion tart is one of my favorite, favorite things. So just maybe, maybe, maybe I will learn to like cauliflower in this tart? I think I will give it a shot. My nephew Morgan, (6 months), just started eating carrots and sweet potatoes. How can I lecture him later on, unless I start eating the cauliflower myself? Hmmm. Big xo to your little monkey.
    Michaela

  9. Tarts definitely have that “Ladies Who Lunch” feel to them. Even though it would be awesome to see dainty LWL exclaiming “Holy Shitzu!” (with fewer letters) after a single forkful.

    All of these ingredients look lavish and wonderful, and no, I wouldn’t bother with the truffle oil either.

  10. I’m with on resenting the Olympic’s effective cancellation of NBC’s Thursday nights. Can’t they find a way to get the shows to us anyway, instead of taking the day off?

  11. Would some creamed mushrooms ruin your greatness Deb?
    All sounds hella yum!
    I also found that fresh thyme to the onions makes a bit more Paris.. don’t ask why.

  12. Wow, that looks scrumptious! I am a savory tart fanatic but for some reason seem to make them more frequently when we spend half our year in Italy than I do while we’re in the US. I think I will have to put this one on my schedule for next week though. I’m thinking that some crumbled pancetta would be really great in this tart too!

    Deb

  13. Please, please bring back the option to print recipe with photo – I just love the visual and your photos are amazing – thanks.

  14. Tart looks delicious and I love truffle oil (sparingly). I will try with the oil. — If you have any truffle oil laying around, I have made shoestring potatoes and drizzled with truffle oil, sea salt and parmesan and served in bamboo cones.
    Can’t wait to try your tart.

  15. Coming from a gluten- and dairy-free family, I’ve never tried anything like this. However, it looks so swoon-worthy that I think I may have to accept the stomach pain and cook this for myself sometime. There are things in life not worth missing out on…

  16. That BABY – oooooooooooooooooo that BABY
    He is fork dropping adorable
    I look at his lil pictures all the time – ooooooooooooooo that BABY!

  17. Wow, that looks incredible. We just made french onion soup the other night, so I am still kind of in the mood for the caramelized onions… can’t get enough. Yum!

    I am actually sending a link for this to my wife right now… she absolutely loves anything with cauliflower, so when you combine the caramelized onions with that, I know what is being made in our kitchen tonight… :)

  18. I love savory tarts and yours looks really good. Another way to eat cauliflower (and feed it to my children) is ALWAYS welcome!!
    I make savory tarts a lot because I find them very easy to make and even if they sound “lunch for a lady”, my husband loves them too for dinner (with a salad). Once you have a recipe for the crust working for you, make a lot, freeze it so that you can make more tarts. This would be great on a cornmeal crust as well (cf Callie #27).

  19. Here’s a sad story: I once had fries so amazing at a restaurant that I demanded to know what made them that way (maybe I just asked–who can be sure at this point?) and was told that white pepper was the secret ingredient. I then resolved to replicate them at home, and ended up with something so overpoweringly white pepper-flavored that it almost made me sick and nearly all went in the trash. To this day, even the mildest hint of white pepper sort of makes me gag. So, yeah, I’m happy that black pepper can be easily substituted here, to no ill effect. This looks great!

  20. Not sure what excited me more, the tart or the fantastically unfussy truffle salt. I tend to hate overly fussy ingrediate too, so immediately purchased some to try cooking with. Thanks!

  21. Amazing enough those seemed to be the only ingredients left in my fridge tonight so I’ve just whipped one up and it’s in the oven as I write, smelling divine! I added some parmesan and some ‘piment d’espelette’ to the pastry. We’ll see how it turns out!

  22. That looks amazing! Gruyere and caramelized onions are two of my favorites, and I have been trying to figure out what to do with a container of mascarpone cheese that has been languishing in the back of my fridge for way too long. Now I know what to do with it! A quick question for you though – I don’t have a tart pan with a removable bottom. Would this work in a regular or deep dish pie plate or would I be better off waiting until I can get my hands on a real tart pan? Can’t say I’d mind “needing” to go kitchen supply shopping!

    1. Katie — I am sure a regular (not deep dish) pie pan would work. Or, you could line your tart pan with parchment and see if that makes it easier to remove it. Or of course you could buy one; I think I spent about $7 on mine since it’s the kind of thing I always leave places.

  23. I’m have zero experience with truffle anything (well, except the non related chocolate kind!) and don’t know where, or with what, to use something like truffle oil or truffle salt. Three quartes of the truffle salt still hanging around after seven years doesn’t sound like it goes with much. I hear such love extolled about the real deal that I admit, I’m intrigued (even though I don’t love mushrooms..gasp!.. I associate truffles as part of that family..are they?) Anyway..I love caramelized onions anytime, and in a tart probably the most. Can’t wait to try this even if I don’t use the truffle salt.

    Glad to see that shiny mop-top all thickly ruffled and unruly..I was concerned while looking at Jacob firing the monkey that he was beginning to sport a Donald comb-over!

  24. um, wow.

    this combines so many of my favorite things, it’s just totally over the top. cheese and truffles, yes, but roasted cauliflower and dijon mustard too. i’ll call it fate.

  25. Thank you for your colorful writing! I was transported to your home, right there with you, smelling, salivating and finally tasting. I can’t wait to try this. I love anything with cauliflower and with this pairing how can it not be stratospherically good?!

  26. Not sure I’ll go for the full tart recipe (one more cauliflower- containing dish and my husband might call a lawyer) – bit I’m definitely trying the crust.

    I might use it for a recipe you had here long time ago – for leeks and swiss chard tart. My printout is yellowish already, and I STILL haven’t made it (sigh)

  27. Delicious recipe! But the little guy with unruly hair is even more delicious. A lot of times I feel that English language does not have enough words to describe cute things in life, so I will say it in Russian: Jacob is “Obyedenye, Vkysnyatina”.
    As far as your food photos-fantastic. I feel that I want to lick this food off my screen.

  28. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I just don’t get the whole truffle thing. I had real diggedy-dog, French-pig-snuffled black truffles once, and while they were really good, for a dish that cost more than a day’s salary, I expected to have a “When Harry Met Sally” moment. I’m much happier, all-around, at the thought of the roasted cauliflower and caramelized onions.

  29. I try to get the first bite, but I’ve been in the position of cooking with a cold and being unable to taste things and pestering the husband — “Was it good? Did you like it? Can you describe it?” “It was good” “No, what did it TASTE like?”

    So I sympathize.

    But then again, you did get to eat this tart, so my sympathies are muted.

  30. I do the same thing sometimes…about not tasting the food. Although, I’m usually just afraid that after all that hard work my beautiful creation won’t taste very good. Luckily my husband loves tasting! Once I know the dish is edible though, nothing can stop me from devouring the meal!

  31. I’ve been making a gluten-free, egg-free version of this tart for years, and, believe it or not, it’s spectacular. Thanks for all the beautiful recipes and baby pix….

  32. hey deb!!

    first off, this looks amaazing, but what i really wanted to say is that i was flipping through this month’s copy of Health magazine and when asked what her favorite website was, keri russell said smittenkitchen.com. i squealed a little for you, not going to lie.

  33. Looks great… rich and fancy! I hear you on the forgetting to eat food before others eat it….. but mostly I hear you on missing The Office/30 Rock. Love those olympics, but I miss my NBC Thursdays.

  34. deb… my sister and i have a problem.. we are making dinner tomorrow night and were going to make martha’s mac and cheese… if you had to choose between this or the mac and cheese for a dinner in, which one would it be? lets just say that we like the flavor profile of both equally and have all the ingredientsfor either!! (kind of an ingreident junkie) thanks !!

  35. as amazing as the tart looks, and I’m sure tastes, it is the photo of Jacob that made me smile (I know, usually it is food that does it to me) but this pic was just too adorable…give him tons of smooches!

  36. Deb, this reminds me of the caramelized onion tarts available in Southern Germany during the early Autumn wine season….the first time someone had to ‘make’ me try it–after that I was whining that i never had it again because I was never there during the correct season.
    Looking good!! this one’s going on the todo list.

  37. Love the savory tarts. My question is, miss Deb, do you know of another “binder” for a savory tart like this that can replace the egg? I wish, I wish, I want to want to love eggs but I just can’t. In cake- great. But quiche, tart, egg bake- can’t do it unless it’s very very subtle. It’s a texture thing.

  38. this looks wonderful…i think the aroma is reaching me.
    very detailed recipe/notes… my friends will love this tart & i am going to make it for an upcoming dinner party…actually planning on cooking your meatball sliders & already baked your “best birthday cake” & frosting (both in freezer)…
    wow! just realized this is a sk dinner! well thanks for all the recipes!
    btw: i never taste any of your recipes beforehand…just know they will be great!
    jacob, you & alex are invited for dinner!

  39. i love this recipe and i’ll agree its unexpectedly delicioys. although with mascarpone how could it be anything less?

    its fun to make it with orange or purple cauliflower or the green broccoflower (or whatever its name is)

  40. What a delicious mix of flavors and textures, I’ll have to make this! I’ve never been disappointed by any of the recipes I’ve tried from your site, so if this is as “fork dropping” as you say it is, it’s probably true.

  41. I recently bought a lovely little 14 x 5 inch rectangular tart pan from Sur la Table, and this looks like a perfect tart for that shape. This recipe calls for a 9 inch round pan, so would you suggest halving this recipe? I love the new pan, but my math has failed me and I have no solid idea how I could adjust the filling in these recipes. I have no issue with too much crust, but I just don’t want piles of unloved extra filling. Thanks for your help. And oh my god your baby’s hair. It’s just not fair.

    1. Emily from NC — By my math, your 14 x 5 holds just very slightly more than than the 9-inch round would (as Eliza said), so you should be fine using the same volume. Or you could throw in a couple extra piece of cauliflower. However I have the same tart pan (love making horizontal 1-inch slices from it) and I’ve found that it holds slightly less? Just a little bit? But it’s been a while since I used it so maybe I’m not remembering it correctly. Do let us know how it goes.

  42. Gorgeous! But, one prob … how to convince my partner in tasting that the cauliflower-like component (which he has never actually *tasted* but is certain he hates) in the tart is not actually cauliflower but rather something he knows he likes … like bacon. Or cheese fries.

  43. Emily in Cali – From my rough calculations, I think you would have just a little bit leftover… probably not enough to adjust the recipe. I would bake the leftover filling in a small ramekin. I covet your pan… and Jacob’s hair! :-)

  44. Yay! I’m having a Ladies Lunch next weekend for my birthday and as soon as I looked at this I thought, “Oh yeah, that looks like a winner.” To top it off, you even commented that it’d be well suited for a ladies lunch. The butter gods have smiled upon me :)

  45. I really enjoyed reading this post from start to finish, your enthusiasm is contagious. I love it! As soon as I got home from work today I started some light wheat bread dough and now it’s happily rising in the kitchen. It’s about to smell real good in here.

    Oh yeah, and the tart looks wonderful but that should go without saying.

  46. Debra,
    Since I am in love with roasted cauliflower (I posted roasted cauli w/ black grapes and red onion yesterday), I made this tart a few yrs back when it came out in Bon Appetit.
    I found the mascarpone too rich, so tried it again with just the Gruyere and cream.
    It was FANTASTIC, and I saved a zillion calories with the triple cream cheese!
    Cute mop head! Have a great weekend.

    Stacey Snacks

  47. So funny you would talk about not tasting as you cook – I am SO guilty of that. Either I don’t want to spoil dinner, or lunch or whatever or I’m full. And we all know that we are constantly being advised to TASTE, TASTE, TASTE! I’m workin’ on it. But this looks just so very very good. I’d really like a taste.

  48. Totally agree about the truffle oil. But, this tart looks amazing. I can’t believe I spent most of my life thinking I didn’t like cauliflower. Then, I ROASTED it. Oh man, what a difference. Thanks for another wonderful post!

  49. Deb,

    Let me preface my comment by saying that I LOVE your blog, and am a most devoted reader. I’m living in my own apartment for the first time ever, and your recipes have saved my roommate and me from a sad diet of ramen noodles and Kraft mac & cheese.

    …That being said, it made me cringe to see your use of the word “decimated”. I know, I’m so sorry for the anal-retentiveness, but it is my absolute number one grammatical/vocabularic pet peeve of all time (shouldn’t we all be irrationally allowed one of those?). Most people use it as the equivalent of “destroyed completely”, but it actually means “destroyed by one-tenth” (hence the deci- root). Which, if you think about it, is pretty cool, since it lets you be precise about just how much destruction is going down.

    Alright, I’ve had my spiel, I will leave well enough alone. Thanks again for your fantastic blog/photos/recipes/everything. The fact that you can pull off such awesome stuff in your tiny NYC kitchen is inspiring us to do the same in our tiny Chicago one :)

  50. You guys never cease to amaze me! I came to your blog today specifically to find a cauliflower recipe. Here we are!! Thanks SK team :)

  51. Regarding the truffle oli,or truffle salt are not only produced chemically but the “artificial flavour” is derived from petroleum!! It is a hydrocarbon. Do you really want that in your food!!!
    I surely don’t.

  52. Ups, forgot.
    Thank you for the yummy recipe which I am going to prepare tomorrow.
    I often do your recipes and always find them fool proof.

  53. yet again another recipe I HAVE to try! Looks So good!! I can’t wait to experiment w/ different veggies!! :) May some kale or spinach…tossed in there…my new favs!
    You are fab!

    1. Rosemary — I am sure it will work. I have a glass quiche pan that I’ve used before when I wanted to skip the crust and just buttered it well. I am glad your daughter didn’t challenge you to give up butter! That would just be mean. ;)

      Cindy — I use this one.

      Claire — At least according to M-W.com and Dictionary.com “reduce drastically” and “destroy a great amount of” are secondary definitions.

  54. This looks amazing! After reading this I immediately called Williams Sonoma to see if they had truffle salt in stock. Sadly, they didn’t so the oil it will be. Can’t wait to make this tomorrow!

  55. Since stumbling across your site I have been enjoying making your recipes, reading your commentaries, and looking at pictures of your beautiful curly headed boy. I am going to make this today (minus anything truffle) and I am thinking about using a puff pastry crust…what do you think?

  56. I have a jar of truffle cream my husband brought home. A very little goes a very long way. I’m game to try it but I agree with you. Cauliflower and carmelized onions are two of my favorite things! Happy weekend ~LeslieMichele

  57. Oh gracious! How on earth do you manage to make food like this with the little guy around? I’m glad you do manage it! This recipe is going straight to the top of my “Must Make” list.

  58. I’m a fan of every tart you’ve ever made – so this one will go straight to the top of the TO MAKE pile…love, love, love Jacob’s hairpiece…it’s more delicious looking that the tart! xo, Nan

  59. Wow….I happen to have Farmers Market left over cauliflower that is now calling my name. I have a friend who gets a regular farm basket of vegies from a local organic grower, and never knows what is going to be in the basket. She told me she sent the whole head of cauliflower out to the chickens (her neighbors chickens) because she was clueless what to do with it. She’s new to the cooking world. I think I’ll surprise her with this, as she loves cheese. I won’t say a WORD about the cauliflower until after she tastes it. tee hee.

  60. I also blurted out “holy sh*t!!” when I saw this post…..I am swooning. It is everything that I love, and tarted up a bit with mustard. I must make this IMMEDIATELY. thank you thank you!

  61. I don’t know how you can make all these delicious things and NOT try them! I’m one of those low self-control/ low patience people that MUST try almost everything right as it comes out of the oven or off the stove. This looks delicious!

  62. Hearing you on the winter Olympics – SO over it but forced by my sweet and loving nature (heh) to allow continued watching in my presence, small flat, whaddya gonna do?

  63. Been lurking for a couple weeks here. I have to admit, when this whole blogging thing took off years ago, I rolled my eyes thinking, yeah right, I can think of better ways to spend my time. Fast forward to randomly finding smitten kitchen. WOW. Thanks Deb for all the time, skillz and effort you put into this.

  64. Claire #93:
    dec·i·mate? ?[des-uh-meyt] Show IPA
    –verb (used with object),-mat·ed, -mat·ing.
    1.
    to destroy a great number or proportion of: The population was decimated by a plague.
    2.
    to select by lot and kill every tenth person of.
    3.
    Obsolete. to take a tenth of or from.

    It looks like we’ve used it so long it has become ok!
    This tart is amazing! I love all things cauliflower but this is THE BEST!

  65. Hmmm I always taste my food and by taste I mean I eat and eat and eat too much of it and feel ridiculous after (same feeling I had when refusing to ever spit at the wine tasting class I took in college).

    I love that you made a lot of changes to this recipe to suit your preferences. I loathe truffle oil. It’s always tasted like armpits to me. It is especially dreadful when used as a flavoring in SWEET macarons. Shudder…

  66. ps: What is with commenters constantly attacking your writing/use of language? I’ve noticed this frequently. I thought this was a food blog, not the English Language department of the local university…

  67. Oh I love the savory tarts! On another note, is Jacob eating solid foods yet — i.e. cereal? I just can’t remember when I started my kids on solid foods. I’m thinking once Jacob can start on solid foods – WOW WILL HE EAT WELL! I bet you can’t wait to get cooking for him. HE’S JUST SO CUTE IN ALL THE PHOTOS!

  68. Okay, this posting DECIMATED my New Year’s resolution to try and avoid cheese. And buttery crusts. And cheese. Any way to combine this recipe with your b’nut squash-caramelized onion tart? How delicious x ten would THAT be?

  69. Deb you are a one-woman amazon force! The truffle salt is sold out. You’re like the Oprah’s Book Club of rare Amazonian ingredients!

  70. Nice recipe! This reminds me of the amazing Goat Cheese Tart with Carmelized Onions in the Balthazar Restaurant cookbook. If the gruyere, heavy cream and parmesan were replaced with 8 ounces of goat cheese, the recipe would be nearly identical–and this is an absolutely amazing, bring-it-to-a-party, crowd-pleaser, whoa! kinda tart that I first ate at the restaurant and now make often at home since everyone always requests it! I look forward to trying this!

  71. I make a version of this recipe as a pie for my favorite Easter brunch dish. The differences: I sub soft goat cheese for mascarpone (because I love the combination of goat cheese and cauliflower) and I don’t use mustard (because I really don’t like mustard – weird, I know); and I make the pie crust out of hash browned potatoes. I basically doctored up this recipe from Epicurious with a recipe for cauliflower cheese pie on Allrecipes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cauliflower-Cheese-Pie/Detail.aspx (The Allrecipes filling is bland and oily so I would not recommend using it).

    The end result is divine. There are few things more stunning than a pie crust made from shredded potatoes topped with gooey cauliflower and cheese.

  72. I made this yesterday for friends, and while I was pulling the ingredients together it reminded me of something I’d eaten before. I went to my Balthazar cookbook to get inspiration for a different salad dressing, and saw the recipe for Goat Cheese tart. Noted the similarities like GirlCook above so I had to smile this morning when I read her comments. I also had to smile when I read the serving size note from you too…4 folks ate the entire tart for supper…small wedges served with a greens looked great on the plate, but everyone had to have seconds so the tart became dessert too. Thanks again for another delicious recipe.

  73. mmmm, sounds like dinner for tonight is sorted.

    Just found smitten kitchen yesterday, so many good vegetarian recipes here, i was starting to despair…

  74. So, I made this last night, along with the pie shell/crust recipe you posted. For some reason it took me forever to make this dish but when I was finally done- it was wonderful. I made it sans the truffle oil and substituted romano cheese for the parm.
    This tart’s only vice is that it is incredibly heavy and filling. My boyfriend and I could only manage to eat a little sliver till we felt stuffed beyond belief. This one is definitely a good dish to bring to a party or potluck.

  75. I made this last night in my (previously mentioned, comment 78) 14 x 5 inch tart pan. There was clearly a little too much onion and cauliflower to fit perfectly, but I dumped them in anyway, willing to make the sacrifice. This then made pouring the cream mixture a little difficult, but I domed over the top a bit, and I had about a half a cup left over. No big deal. (I used low-fat sour cream and 2% milk instead of the mascarpone and heavy cream. And it sure didn’t taste like I was making it “healthier.”) The proportions actually worked out much better than I expected; I always feel like the vegetables get lost in these sorts of dishes, but the cauliflower and onions sung in this tart. Great recipe. Omitting the heavier ingredients (and the truffle salt/oil) was perfect and made for a special, yet not over-the-top dinner. Thank you so much for another amazing recipe!

  76. I am temporarily without a rolling pin; can I make this by pressing the dough onto the counter? Would a full or empty wine bottle be an acceptable substitute for a rolling pin? thanks!

  77. Made this yesterday, crust and all. YUM. Ate it again for breakfast this morning, too. It was good cold, right out of the fridge. My only problem was not eating all the roasted cauliflower before getting it into the tart, it was great all on its own. Next time, I’m roasting double the amount so I have more leftover to snack on.

  78. Hi Deb. The tart is in the oven right now! I really have to thank you for inspiring me to a. buy a tart pan and b. make my own crust. The food processor worked awesome for that.
    A couple questions for next time:
    1. I didn’t see where in the recipe the nutmeg is added, guessing it’s added to the egg mixture…
    2. Do you measure the cheeses by weight (e.g., 1 c. equals 8 oz) or just grate until you have the desired amount to fit in a dry measuring cup? I usually just eyeball the cheese anyway, but thought I’d ask…

  79. I agree on truffle oil, never much for it. But the truffle salt–heavenly on warm tomatoes freshly picked from the garden, or on scambled eggs and sauteed spinach eaten for dinner or mac N cheese grown-up style….

  80. i recently received some truffle salt. Truly a revelation. I know regularly eat boiled egg on toast generously sprinkled with the salt.

    Hate truffle oil after buying my own real piece of truffle last truffle season.

  81. I made this last night (skipping the truffle oil/salt completely). It was wonderful, but I didn’t really get the tart crust to come together. I finally resorted to just pressing it into the tart pan.

    I noticed that it has less liquid than the Pierre Herme tart dough I have in _Desserts by Pierre Herme_, which has some milk in addition to your ingredients.

    Am I really just supposed to work dry stuff forever until it comes together? Or did I do something wrong?

    1. Kathryn — I really work it until it comes together. However, the only liquid is an egg (part of the reason it gets so crisp) so the difference between a too-small (even labeled “large”, I swear, my dozens are all different sizes) egg and a regular one can make it harder.

  82. I made this dish this morning for my houseguests. It was so rich and creamy, subtly sweet from the caramelized onions, earthy and delicious from the roasted cauliflower. I omitted the truffle–it’s just not my taste. This was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I adore this.

  83. This recipe hits all the high notes of my favorite cauliflower gratin and then goes for a few more. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the great recipe.

  84. First time “caller”. Loved this recipe. It was easy to construct and a big winner when I served it along with a simple hearts of romaine salad. I’m new to this site but will be digging in a bit deeper now as it looks like there is much to admire. Thanks!

  85. Made this last night. It’s out of this world. Thank you SO much for the recipe. I used truffle oil, and also used your hommade tart recipe. It was easy to make and oh so delish!

  86. I made this over the weekend and added cremini mushrooms (roasted along with the cauliflower) for extra earthiness. I loved it. I use truffle salt on so many things and I have had my small jar for 3.5 yrs!!

  87. Made this Sat. and it was so delicious! Used swiss, marzcapone and parmesian.
    Reheated some for dinner last night, all good!
    I used a spelt frozen pie crust from Whole Foods which made the recipe easier, and yet was very tasty.

  88. Thanks so much for this recipe! It combines all of my husbands favorite things — perfect! I didn’t have truffle salt, but am thinking about buying it – but the tart sure smells delicious cooking in the oven. Ever since my friend Tamar told me about you, whenever I make something delicious my husband’s first question is, “so is this another Smitten recipe?” =)

  89. That’s great to know that the truffle salt you bought 7 years ago still keeps its flavor! I’m the opposite of you when it comes to truffle oil, and I love that stuff on everything. If I make this dish, I’m definitely be putting a healthy glug of the oil on top. :)

  90. Deb – hilarious, the salt listed on the Frenchy Bee site was in Oprah’s magazine. The similarities between you and the book club queen continue.

  91. This is a HOME RUN. Seriously. I think I under-salted it a bit, and maybe next time I will do a layer of 1/2 the swiss on the onions and the other 1/2 on the cauliflower, as I found it a little hard to distribute the cheese evenly when pouring it on with the sauce. But still, awesome. Made the dough for the first time and will never by those sticky, freezer burned pre-made pie crusts again.

  92. All I needed was mascarpone cheese and truffle salt (totally agree w/your assessment of the oil, btw), and I just so happened to be driving by local restaurant supplier who had BOTH … so last night, at around 8 pm, I started the process. I ended up making my own version of the tart shell (not because I don’t trust yours, but I didn’t have cornstarch, so I made my trusty standby simple tart shell (flour, butter and ice water). And it worked out just fine! And unlike a lot of your readers, I’m not a huge lover of mustard, so I thought twice before I brushed it on …and then I did it anyway. And I was more than a little happy about it.

    I have to tell you …I happened upon your blog about 10 days ago and have since tried 3 of your recipes (tomato sauce, chana masala, and now this). In short … YOU ARE AMAZING! And now I can’t wait to try any and all of your other vegetarian delights.

    With much gratitude from all the members of my household…

  93. Holy goodness. This is incredible. This past weekend, I made 3 recipes from SmitKitch – tarte tatin, black-bottomed cupcakes AND spinach strata.

    This is food pr0n at it’s greatest!

  94. Every component of this dish looks delicious – but together? Bliss! Thanks for the recipe – I’ll try it sometime this week.

  95. I saw this when you first posted it and have been dreaming of making it every since. My only problem is that my husband hates onions so I need to find an occasion when I can make and SHARE this because I certainly don’t need to eat the WHOLE thing by myself. Looks divine!

  96. Made this tonight for dinner – truly fantastic! Even my husband the carnivore and my two year old the fussy eater loved it. One question: I had a hard time getting the dough to come together (maybe my egg was on the small side?). When I’m making sweet pie crust I generally use alcohol (brandy, apple jack, etc.) instead of water so I can get a nice wet dough without getting a lot of gluten. Do you think it would work in this crust to add a splash of vodka if I’m having a hard time getting the flour to incorporate?

    1. Elizabeth — Were you able to in the end? The thing is, the dough is almost intentionally tough to bring together because the idea is that keeping it drier will maximize the firmness of the baked shell without needed to parbake it.

  97. I LOVE that you can mix up whatever 3 cups of goodies are in the pantry- I used coconut, apricots, wheat germ, walnuts, sunflower seeds. Also used rice syrup as sweetener. They were fabulous!

  98. This was FANTASTIC! I have been determined to learn to make my own pastry dough and this was a great start. I was a little worried at first about it all coming together, but I worked it out and it baked up wonderfully. Very light and crispy. My MIL and I have eaten almost the whole tart in a day and a half. We keep cutting little slivers off, so it’s not like eating a whole piece. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  99. It also took me forever to get the dough to come together. My egg must have been on the small side. I added a wee bit of milk and in a snap it was together. I am sure it tastes better without the milk, but it was still beyond delicious.

    Also, I added roast turnips from our garden. Amazing!

  100. Oh. my. lord.
    big mistake to make this for only the two of us. I made it yesterday and it’s almost gone. Sooo delicious.
    I cut the cauliflower into slightly smaller pieces (though certainly didn’t “slice”) after roasting and ended up wishing I hadn’t, because I really liked the different texture they added. I also am not usually an enormous cauliflower fan, but this was UNBELIEVABLE.
    I agree that it was a little difficult to get the cream and grated gruyere mixture to evenly distribute through the cauliflower when pouring it on, but I couldn’t tell the difference after baking.
    For all of this recipe’s oozing deliciousness, again I was forced face to face with the fact that I do not have the tart shell touch. Maybe this is a lack of patience, wobbly fingers, or my failure to get real pie weights (I’ve been told dry beans work, and so that’s what I use, but maybe real weights make all the difference…)
    So here is a dumb question about tart shells in general (and I apologize if this has been asked and answered elsewhere…): how much dough, if any, should you leave above the edge of the pan? I used a store bought pastry crust this time but have had the same problem before – if I trim it just to the edge, it seems to shrink unevenly during baking, making one side higher than the other, causing spills and reducing the total capacity of the shell. But if I leave a bit of dough above the shell, it puffs out and gets caught on the edge of the pan, pulling up the bottom corners with it, and making a very ugly and un-tart-like scene. Tips?

  101. I was able to make the tart dough come together in the end, actually, it just took a lot of squishing. First of all, I was worried (needlessly) about developing gluten, and about melting the butter. Second of all, I’m lazy. However, you have answered a long standing question for me (big forehead slap here) about why my sweet pie crusts always seem to need to parbake longer than the directions. (I generally end up adding a little more liquid (alcohol) than is called for in the recipe because I get impatient to get the flour incorporated.) Also, you didn’t mention another advantage of this tart dough: no resting time!

  102. Hi Deb,

    I just made this tonight and it was the first time I have ever made pastry in my life! I just bought a food processor so used that instead of doing it by hand. I thought this tart shell would be an excellent one to start off with, because it doesn’t need much fuss or time and doesn’t have too many ingredients. But in the end, I was actually really disappointed with it. I found it waaaay too buttery, in that it tasted like I was eating a savoury quiche wrapped in sweet Scotch shortbread, and the butteriness just overpowered the other flavours, especially when I got a forkful of the edge. I think this might have been because I use organic butter, which I am told has a stronger flavour than factory-farmed.

    But I also thought it was too crumbly, not at all crisp like you and some of the commenters have described it. Could this be because in between mixing the dry ingredients with the butter and adding the egg, unexpected visitors dropped by so I left it for about 15 mins? Maybe the butter lost its chill or something? Or my egg was slightly too small?

    I also found when I tried to roll it out it cracked all over the place, and I had to keep patching up the cracks carefully before re-rolling that spot to smooth it. And then when I tried to roll it onto the rolling pin (which was actually a floured wine bottle) it just completely cracked along the bit I was trying to lift up and roll! I ended up managing to keep a big bit of it intact to cover the bottom of the pan, and then just pressing stray little bits into the sides. Is this normal with dry-ish pastries? I have no experience or instinct to go by.

    What the?? Help! I don’t want this to put me off pastry forever!

  103. Oh oh, PS: Maybe this is because I’m not American, but I found your “6 tablespoons of butter” thing really confusing. Doesn’t one normally measure butter by weight? I wasn’t about to smoosh the butter into measuring spoons and then try to cube it. So I had to go to your conversion page to look for the weight, but all it says is that 8 tbs is half a cup (which by the way applies to everything, not just butter), then to another site to find out the weight of (3 quarters of) half a cup of butter. So I used 93g of butter.

    Sorry to sound like such a downer. I’m really love your site, and your writing and everything. But aaarrgh!

    1. Rosie — 6 tablespoons of butter is also 3 ounces. A “stick” (8 tablespoons) of butter is 113 grams so 85 grams would be a little closer to correct.

      The dough, as I mentioned in a couple other comments, is definitely on the dry/tough side. I actually like this because there’s less moisture making a soggy, soft crust (like American pie doughs can often be) and find it a little easier to roll it out. I’m seeing from the comments, though, that not everyone feels the same about this one. It might be preference or it might be (as I mentioned in an earlier comment) variances in egg sizes (because egg is the only moisture) making it more difficult for some than others.

    1. Sofya — Understood! Do it over two days. I did. Roast the cauliflower, caramelize the onions and even roll out the tart dough and press it in the pan. The next day, you just grate cheese and put it all together and bake it. And then try it and kick yourself for taking an extra day to make it because it is so good.

  104. Deb,
    Enjoy your site. I made this last night-it is very tasty; re; the various ingredients and subs, I used a premade crust, marscapone, comte, parmesan, milk (instead of cream), truffle salt. Only downside to me (and I’m pretty organized in the kitchen) was how long it took me to make it. Had a slightly warmed slice today and even better the 2nd day. This will go in the “for very special occasions” file due to the time it takes to complete.
    Thanks!

  105. As a slavish follower of all things Smitten Kitchen, I can’t help but check this site daily. Unfortunately, as a Celiac (gluten allergy) and lactose-intolerant, I can only make a small number of the recipes without drastic alterations.

    But, since caramelized onions are my Kryptonite, I vowed to make this, graduate school homework, pending snowstorm, and lactose problems be damned.

    I was able to make a phenomenal crust in a food processor using 1 cup GF breadcrumbs (store bought) and 1/2 cup rice flour, with two tablespoons of guar gum in place of the flour in this recipe. It made a crumbly, wet dough, which was easy to press into a 9″ springform pan lined with parchment paper. I did parbake it, for about 15 minutes, and it came out just tinged golden and shrank only 1/4 of an inch in diameter.

    With the monstrous head of cauliflower I bought, I added a 1/2 more light cream and an extra egg, so I could be sure it would all bind, just mixed the mustard into the entire wet portion.

    Two slices in, I want to marry this dish. I only hope that I can drink enough kombucha and probiotics to stave off the stomach issues. This puppy will be eaten in the next 24 hours.

    BTW- I don’t really like kids, but I find Jacob absolutely adorable.

  106. Worth every bit of effort! Used a cheesecake springform pan, made crust in food processor (took 5 minutes), didnt have marscapone so did your suggestion, didnt have truffle salt or oil… all that said… it was still INCREDIBLE!!! Am going to do again in the future with the “fancier” ingredients to compare for fun.

  107. cannot wait to try this…I have a wonderful carmelized herbed onion tart recipe that a caterer friend of mine (Loving Spoonful) finally gave me for a Christmas present, (after much begging) and this sounds even yummier…if possible…

  108. This was *so fabulous!* Made it with the truffle oil and the homemade crust. This will definitely make the “special occasion” menu!

  109. I just made this and ate my second piece. So delicious and I am not a big fan of cauliflower but now I am! And truffle oil–had to buy that special and now LOVE it. Thanks Deb!

  110. Made this last night – sooooo delicious! I had to an add an extra egg to my dough because it wasn’t coming together at first.

  111. YUM! Made this the same day it was posted and it was a huge hit with my husband who claims to hate cauliflower! Shared it with 2 neighbors as well and got rave reviews. I made it with the marscapone cheese substitute of 8 oz crm chz, 1/2 c heavy crm and 2.5 T sour crm and it worked like a charm.

  112. hi there! i recently started reading your blog (very fun, very informative!) and, having roasted some cauliflower the other day, decided to make this tart with the leftovers. i omitted the truffle oil (i find it too overpowering) and used 2% milk in place of the cream. it was heavenly! thank you for sharing!

  113. I made this for dinner tonight, absolutely delish! I already texted my assistant and told her not to bring her lunch tomorrow because I have leftovers. The only adjustments that I made is that I used shallots in combination with the onion, as I had a few that needed to be used soon. No truffle oil nor salt, would have bought the salt if my grocer would have had it. I made the suggested crust in the food processor which was a breeze. Didn’t think there was too much butter (is there such a thing???:-)). This is the third recipe that I’ve made from your fabulous site. All have been outstanding!!!

    You delight me with every post!!!

  114. I recently bought a full-sized food processor (my first; what can I say – I’ve been holding out), and it’s definitely my favorite new tart dough making tool – the dough came together just beautifully. Anyway, this dish was delicious, although probably would’ve been more so if I hadn’t kept nibbling the sweet, sweet, sweet roasted cauliflower before it went into the tart….

  115. I’m curious about different types of onions. Most recipes don’t specify, but even the commonly found varieties (yellow, white, red, sweet Vidalia) taste quite different. Is there a preferred variety for caramelizing?

  116. Ok, admittedly, this is my first tart, first time roasting cauliflower, and first use of gruyere cheese (I know I know, where have you been all my life). So much fun to make, but I ended up with a bit too much filling. Took quite a bit longer than 40 minutes to bake, but turned out amazing! I am making as many tarts as I can get my hands on now. :)

  117. While I have been on this site many time, and adore it, this is the first recipe I’ve made from here. It turned out perfect! I decided to go for the truffle oil instead of the truffle salt, but as it was soooo good I think I’ll switch it up the next time I try. Hopefully I’ll have a brunch to go to soon so that I can impress with this, thank you :)

  118. This recipe was sooo good! I was unable to find truffle salt or oil, but I didn’t even miss it. My boyfriend loved it so much that he had THREE helpings! Thanks for another great one, Deb.

  119. When I told my husband we were going to try this, his comment was “I don’t want cauliflower and onion pie”. So, even though I got all the ingredients, I waited a week and then just made it without the announcement. He loved it and so did I. Thank you for this recipe, it will become a regular now in our home.

  120. this was incredibly delicious!!! my husband inhaled it seriously. of course, i had refrigerator issues. i forgot that i was out of cauliflower. so i used broccoli. then gruyere just didn’t work with broccoli so i went with a sharp aged cheddar. next time i will stick to the rules of the recipe – i have to compare now! :)

  121. I made this last night and almost died it was that good. Best thing I’ve put in my mouth in ages. I’ll agree that it takes a long time to make, but is worth every second. I started around 5:15pm and it was done around 8pm.

    I had a tart pan problem in that I forgot mine is an 11″ and I got the premade 9″ crust. So it was tart pizza, but so delicious anyway. I also skipped the truffle oil/salt and didn’t miss it a bit. I’m going to make it again next week with sour cream instead of marscapone and see if the slightly lighter version is as good. I’m hoping it will be, and perhaps a little less filling.

  122. I’ve made this twice since you posted and I LOVE IT! I’ve had to adapt it quite a bit because when living in Costa Rica, one gives up many culinary pleasures such as truffle anything, dijon, and good cheese. Even my rendition was good…I’ve never put cauliflower in quiche (mine is more of a quiche) but I loved it. Thanks so much, Deb!

  123. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe. My best friend and I recently tried it as part of a well-deserved ‘comfort night.’ (We used Swiss, Gruyère, Ricotta, and whole grain Dijon.) So delicious, and exactly what we needed! The roasted cauliflower itself was enough to warm us on a cold (and kind of lonely) February night. I hope it might be alright to link to your recipe on my blog? Thanks again for this wonderful comfort food.

  124. Just found your site last week and wow — THANK YOU! I have been uninspired in the kitchen and your site has rejuvenated me. I made this tart for dinner tonight and it is amazing. My husband gets home tomorrow night from a business trip and I’m trying my best to save some for him — but it’s so good — I’m not sure I’ll be able too! I’ve also made the chana masala, swiss chard and sweet potato gratin, spinach quiche, barely risotto, roasted cauliflower and potatoes — all this week! There were all winners. And my 18th month old son liked them too! I am so grateful for your site, thanks so much for posting. Now I’m going back to your recipe archive to plan next weeks meals…

  125. OK, I made this last night, and my hubs and I L.O.V.E.D. it! He does not even care for cauli or onions-ha! It is that good! I made it in a pie dish and served apple gouda chicken sausages with it. Yumm. Thanks for a great recipe!

  126. I have made this tart twice now, and I am in love. You really can’t pick out the flavor of the individual cauliflower or onions, rather just a delicious melding of flavors that made me seriously want to sit down and eat the entire thing. It’s awesome cold too.

  127. Deb, I loved the sound of this but am trying to lose weight – so the other day I used your suggestion to make a frittata with caramelised onions, cauliflower and potatoes, and just added a handful of grated gruyere and parmesan. It was utterly delicious and at least slightly less fattening than something containing an all butter crust and mascarpone! GREAT Post tho and look forward to trying the proper tart.

  128. I just got around to making this tonight and had a bit too much of the cream/cheese
    mixture. I had to “dome” it in the pan and some spilled over onto the baking sheet.
    I just read through the comments and no one else seemed to have this issue….did anyone?
    In any case, my husband and I licked out plates….didn’t have anything “truffle”, but
    certainly didn’t miss it…yum!

  129. Just made this using your suggested substitution of ricotta. I have gone veg for lent and live in a small town so the selection is limited unless you want to brave the drive. Thanks so much for your notes on substitutions. It was beyond yummy!

  130. I just made this today for a friend (our children had a playdate) and we both found this to be a delightful combination of flavors and textures. Thanks for such a great recipe!!! I omitted the truffle oil (or salt) altogether and thought it was lovely without the truffle addition.

  131. Made this for dinner to celebrate Pi Day and man, was it ever good. I just finished a reheated piece for breakfast and am fighting the urge to go downstairs and heat up another one. This is a keeper, for sure, although I might try to ratchet down the fat level for the future. Had to try the high test version first, though.

  132. Do you think this recipe would work with asparagus instead of cauliflower? It’s much cheaper right now but I’m a little worried about whether or not the flavors will go well together..

  133. WOW!!! Made this for my sister & brother-in-law while visiting them as a “special dinner” treat…and it was unbelievably good! Very rich, quite sinful, and we all loved it! It just melted in your mouth and we all moaned (in a good way) while we ate it. Deb, this may be one of the best things of yours I’ve ever made. Thanks so much for an amazing recipe! I’ll be offering this to some friends again very soon and I just know they’ll love it too!

  134. Made the the tart with a few pinches of truffle salt, per your suggestion, and it was delicious! Creamy, cheesey, without being cloyingly rich. A hit at brunch yesterday, served with a mache salad with apples, celery, fennel, and a citrusy dressing. One question, though, as it appears to be missing from the directions – does the nutmeg go in with the mascarpone/whipping cream/cheese/egg mixture?

  135. Oh heavens. I made this on the weekend as an indulgent Saturday dinner at home. It’s obscenely good. I had to take it off the table so my partner and I wouldn’t continue to pick at it and do even more damage to our arteries.

    Truffle salt ftw too. It was a lovely musky note in amongst all the heavenly creaminess. I wonder how a little cayenne would go?

  136. I made this yesterday, is it sooooooo good! quite beautiful looking, actually exactly like featured on your page. this is the second of your recipies i have tried, both turned out perfectly and i am only a so so cook, so, thank you! I will be happily trying more of your back pages over time. enjoy the site, the photography and writing very much, especially love the occassional baby pic.

  137. I made it this afternoon for our dinner and the smell is diving me batty! Can’t wait to slice up this pie- hope it tastes as wonderful as it smells. Cheers

  138. I made this last night and stayed up until midnight to taste the finished product…COMPLETELY worth it!!!!
    I do wish I had read Deb’s advice about doing it over 2 days. I made the whole thing (crust and all) in one attempt and it took quiet a long time. Definitely learned a few tricks to speed up the process for the next time I make this AMAZING tart!
    Oh, and I used ricotta and it was to die for :)

  139. I made this in February shortly after you posted. Divine, this tart. However, my six-year-old daughter was upset with me for using all the cauliflower. She wanted me to save some for her to eat raw with mustard. She did not, strangely enough, enjoy it drenched in cheese and cream. I ate her share.
    I’m checking back to get the recipe for the crust. I need something easy and delicious to hold the lemon curd I made. Thank you!

  140. I made this the other day using the crust recipe provided. The end result was incredible! Sure, I was absolutely fed up with trying to wrangle that dough into something usable (the kitchen I was in didn’t have a rolling pin – baffling!) but it has stayed crisp even when I bagged a slice and reheated in a microwave at work. Definitely worth the hassle.

    Other than the tart shell, this recipe is ridiculously easy to toss together. Plus, cauliflower and cheese? Heck yeah!

  141. I made it!! I do a lot of watching cooking and reading about cooking, but not alot of real cooking. Thanks for the inspiration. It was really good. Next on my list is your braided lemon thing.

  142. Over the last six months I have been become addicted to your writing, your recipes and your photographs. So much so that you have become my go to place for recipes. If I can’t find something here, THEN I go to Epicurious! When I made this tart for friends they all exclaimed that it was the best thing that I have ever made. It really is an amazing recipe.

  143. I knew that this would be a rich concoction, so I used 2% milk instead of cream, and lowfat cream cheese instead of mascarpone. Honestly, I don’t think anyone would know the difference as it was still very full of flavor, still bordering on too rich for me.

    The dough came together easily for me, and I am no fan of working with from-scratch doughs. The timid should give this one a try.

  144. Do you think roasted zucchini would work here, or would it get watery? I am trying to think of a substitue for the cauliflower. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  145. I made this and it was wonderful! I did not use truffle salt or oil and it was still very flavorful. Perfect tart with a simple green salad. Thanks for another great recipe!

  146. Speaking of Freezer Friendly – baked meatballs which are flash-frozen and stored in freezer zipper bags are perfect (I’m eating some now). Just pop out as many as you need at a time, throw them in sauce, let them heat through and voila dinner. They’re nice to keep on hand.

  147. Odd question — when you say transfer to rack, do you mean, remove from pan and let cool on the rack, or put the actual pan (with the tart still inside, obviously) on the rack? With muffins and cupcakes, etc., I tend to let them cool a while in the pan, and then take them out and cool them some more, but I’m not sure how it goes with a tart.

  148. I made this at the weekend, pastry from scratch and everything! It didn’t work out completely for me, my onions didn’t caramelise properly even though I let them do their thing for 90mins. The pastry was surprisingly easy and came out well, and it was all I could do to stop myself from eating all the roasted cauliflower as soon as it came out of the oven. Am going to try the cauliflower cake next and see how it compares.

  149. I am making this for the 4th time. It is that good! Anytime that I am asked to contribute a dish to a teacher luncheon or potluck, this is my go-to. It is amazing and delicious!

  150. Dear Deb
    You have spoiled me. I was so happy to bake cakes once in a while and felt like a queen. then i chanced upon your blog, and it changed my life. gosh, even the thought that besides cooking some 10-12 recipes from your blog in last 6 months,having baked lasagna, muffins, pie and DARED TO BAKE CELEBRATION CAKES for friends, it all sounds ITS JUST NOT ME ANYMORE! GOSH….
    Now..i am baking this difficult crust! it just didnt come together, i hadnt read your comments AND i was tempted to add some *more* egg from one broken egg, so that it could be rolled out (i took three attempts to finally roll out!!). Now its in fridge, and after having read all comments, i know, mine will be on a drier side…anyways..loved making this crust..it really made me push my limits..next time im not gonna give TILL it comes together.
    btw, am going to add some slow roasted tomatoes that YOU made me roast yesterday..LOVE YOU DEB..YOU ARE THE BEST!

  151. Dear Deb
    Just had the best tart ever, and it was home-made! after eating three big slices hubby asked,”is this too from smittenkitchen?” i took the bow Deb!
    btw. the tart didnt dry out as i fear. may be the egg i used was on “smaller” side. and another fact that it was chilled for 3 hrs instead of 30 mins, (not intentional) but it still was as good as gold!
    I am already thinking what to try next!

    Love
    Pooja

  152. Made this tonight and i think it maybe changed my life. I was worried after reading a lot of the comments that this recipe would be tough and time consuming but I didn’t feel it was either. Super satisfying on many levels. Thanks Deb!

  153. I made this on Friday. Let me say it was amazing! My brother ate some and he hates veggies! I used a mixture of cheeses(Swiss and Gruyère) for the topping because just Gruyère was too expensive. And because I didn’t have a tart pan, I used a premade pie crust. It was amazing! I also made the ribs too and they were so good! Next up the the spinach strata!

  154. I made this last night and thought it was absolutely delicious. One problem, it was a little too “oozy”. Did I not let it cool long enough or should I have baked it longer than the suggested 40 minutes? It appeared set to me, but after reviewing your pictures again here, maybe it wasn’t. Thanks for all of the delicious recipes time and time again. I find one of the hardest parts of motherhood is being everyone’s meal planner, and new recipes are always so helpful in the never-ending job of filling bellies.

    1. Mary Mary — If I remember correctly, the tart filling is on the soft side, mostly due to the high cream and cheese ratio — not as set as quiche can be.

  155. Made this over the weekend; a dearest girlfriend was visiting and we had it for lunch. Wow! You are so right — delicious. Dare I say that it was even better the next day, though?!

    And yes, the filling is quite soft. I think I’d call it a little oozy when we first dove into it, but the leftovers were perfectly set, even after nuked in the microwave.

  156. I made this on Sunday and had it for dinner on Monday, reheated in a low oven as you suggested. It was amazingly delicious. I substituted creme fraiche for mascarpone; it’s what I had on hand (who the heck has that on hand? I never do. But I did on Sunday.)

    I used your All Butter Really Flaky Pie Crust that I had stashed in the freezer since Thanksgiving. It rolled out like a charm. I don’t know if it’s because I stored it for a long time or what, but I found the crust to be a little soggy without parbaking (per your recommendation.) The pie dough trimmings I baked with cinnamon sugar turned out fine, so next time I’d parbake the crust.

  157. Made an improvised version tonight – puff pastry without blind baking, plenty of onions , big head of roughly chopped cauli for texture, tub of ricotta cheese with the eggs, splash of single cream and big handfull of grated gruyere . Stonking. Diet tomorrow.

  158. Both times I mad this, I had a hard time getting the tart shell to come together, so I borrowed a trick from Cook’s Illustrated’s vodka pie crust – omitted the corn starch and added 1 Tbsp vodka to bring the dough together. Made it much easier to work, while still not needing to be par-baked and not shrinking at all (at least as far as I could tell)!

  159. This is the best thing ever. It’s now my go-to party dish and everyone raves about it. I’ve been adding a pint of slow roasted tomatoes, which makes for a nice variation. Bravo Smitten Kitchen! You never fail to impress.

  160. Oh my goodness! I am beside myself with how absolutely wonderful this turned out to be! DELICIOUS! Everyone loved it!! I used a 9 inch pie pan. I used 3/4 brick of cream cheese (it’s what I had in the fridge), a good dollop of half-and-half (again, what I had) and shredded Swiss cheese along with the eggs and nutmeg. I topped it with grated Romano (you guessed it! It’s what I had). I made sure to mix olive oil in with the cauliflower before roasting along with some fresh parsely- I used purple and orange cauliflower, very pretty and very good for you (check your local farmer’s markets for this stuff). Oh – and i used the store unroll it pie crust. No truffle oil (yuck)

  161. LOVE your blog and your recipes. Tried several recipes that were over the top scrumptious. This tart excited me: roasted cauliflower, carmelized onions, marscapone and the homemade crust. The end result seemed bland given all of the intense flavors and the work that went into it. Wish it had turned out more flavorful.

  162. I’ve made this twice now using the homemade pastry (dry yes but use your hands and squish it-while crumbly, so easy and you just patch up the crumbly bits in the oan rather than fussing to make it perfect) and it is just incredible. First time I made it with cauliflower but I thought it’s flavour got a little lost so made it again with roasted pumpkin which held it’s own against the other flavours :) Yum!! I used 200gm mascarpone & yes, 85gm butter. Google ‘butter conversion’ for a great butter site.

  163. No. The word adapted doesn’t imply the significance of the adaptations, only that changes were made and that SK is held responsible for them, and not BA. I list them in the head notes for clarity. The BA recipe was heavily truffle flavored, used a store-bought crust, etc. etc.

  164. I’m still trying to get over you not really liking flourless chocolate cake! I have had really yummy ones from a restaurant and wishing I knew how to make them that yummy!

  165. Deb, your recipes never fail me! The almond biscotti is already a christmas time favorite at my house. I made this cauliflower tart awhile back for a Pi Day party (3/14) and it was an instant hit. Needless to say,there were no leftovers! Keep up the great work!

  166. I made this today despite it being in the low 80s outside and not really molten cheese weather. I was in the mood to make something that was on the more time-consuming side – not normally done at my house in the summer – and this recipe caught my eye a while back. It turned out to be way easier than I thought. There is a lot of prep work, but I cooked the onions while the cauliflower was roasting and the shell was chilling, and it was done in no time! And everything you said was on the money! I smelled soooooo good. And it tasted better than it smelled! This is definitely a keeper!

    Speaking of keepers…that tart shell is AMAZING. It came together pretty easy, which surprised me because I am always adding more liquid than pie crust recipes normally call for (they always seem too dry to me). I had some trouble rolling it out, but only because my kitchen was too warm and I was too impatient to chill the dough properly before starting. But no par-baking!!!! W00t!!! I loathe par-baking. I hate it with the firey passion of ten thousand desert suns. This baked up just as crisp as you said and it tasted delicious. I think that in the future, any quiche or savory tart I make will be a filling for this crust. Thank you!

  167. I made this today and as soon as my husband tasted it, he pronounced it “amazing” and said it needs to go in our regular rotation. Thanks for such a lovely recipe, perfect for this sunny fall day and my restless desire to find something to do with cauliflower. I made it without any of the truffle ingredients and absolutely loved it. Thanks for this and your blog – can’t wait for the book!

  168. Husband — “Was that a quiche? Because I don’t like quiche and that was delicious. Delicious.” “No, dear. That was not a quiche.” Secrets to a happy marriage. Or is the secret ingredient Smitten Kitchen?

  169. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was WONDERFUL! The only problem was I kept nibbling on the roasted cauliflower before it made it into the pie shell. YUM!

  170. I made this last night and it was amazing!! My husband loved it too. We used truffle salt that we purchased recently at a spice shop. It has actual truffle flakes in it and was $9 an ounce but definitely worth it in this recipe!

    I just realized I never added the nutmeg. I re-read the recipe and it never says to add it, unless I’m missing it somewhere. However, I don’t know if it makes a noticeable difference in this tart, it still tasted awesome!

  171. Well… i thought i was going to use up this fresh head of cauliflower with the peel-me-a-grape hummus…. but now there’s this idea… and who can resist carmelized onions AND melted cheese? Well… i do have the whole day–and night– off….

  172. Just wanted to say that I made this last night and loved it. I did lighten it a little *but no TOO much) by subbing fat-free Greek yogurt for the mascarpone and half and half for the whipping cream. It was still delicious! My husband loved it!

  173. OMG this is so unbelievably devine, I made it using cream cheese/sour cream/cream as a mascarpone substitue. Its very very rich (so would like to try using fat free greek yogurt next time) but I know I enjoy every single mouthful, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes here (every one I have tried so far have been sublime!!) Had to freeze the left overs before I could make myself sick picking at them!! Thanks again

  174. This was devine! I made a slew of substitutions due to my budget (no truffle anything, pureed cottage cheese for the mascarpone, gouda for the gruyere, whole milk for the cream, and the faintest sprinkling of parm. on top) and it was still incredible!

    The mustard is what made it for me (again, I used brown instead of dijon), I looked forward to that smidge of mustard each bite!

    This was also my first attempt at a tart, and the recipe was very easy to follow. I look forward to making more tarts in the future!

  175. So I can’t read through all 285 (!!!) comments but I must say that this was ridiculously amazing. And actually really easy. It seems time consuming but I cut down on time by 1) roasting cauliflower for only 25 minutes, 2) freezing pie crust for 5 minutes instead of refrigerator for 30 minutes and 3) not completely caramelizing the onions (cooked for maybe 20 minute). I also completely forgot to add the cream and added some diced ham.. and it turned out perfect!

    Definitely let it cool for 10-15 minutes– it tastes wonderful hot but won’t look as pretty.

  176. I have had this bookmarked for ages and finally got around to making it. THANK YOU! this was one of the best tarts I have ever eaten. The addition of dijon is insanely yummy. I made a few changes because I didn’t have a few of the fancy ingredients and my husband bought the wrong cheese…but it still turned out amazing;)

  177. This may be my new favorite recipe from your site. I had it for dinner Sunday night, for lunch yesterday and today, and now I’m moping because I just ate the last piece. I have a good excuse to make it again because I completely forgot to add the truffle oil the first time (even though I bought it just for this dish.)

  178. Just popped it into the toaster oven, can’t wait for it to start bubbling =D I love watching the magic that happens behind the oven door. It’s better than TV. My mom watched me spread the mustard in horror: as a mustard lover I’m sure it will prove her very wrong. I’m often feel I’m one of the few who like a bit of tang and mellow spicy notes to her food. I had to sub out quite a few things due to availability; used old cheddar, a bit of some smokey cheese in the fridge, cream cheese + half and half, no truffle anything, did the cauliflower stove top after the onions, added a touch of ice water to get the dough to bind (a la o-mai-why-won’t-this-sweet-tart-dough-come-together). So excited to taste it!! Awesome blog find of the day =]
    Cheers!

  179. Wow- I cannot believe how amazing this was. It is so much easier than it looks- 80i just finished eating a slice! For me it was all about the timing: started preheating oven and did the onions first, while they started to cook I did the cauliflower, and once that went in the oven I made the crust in a food processor and stuck it in the freezer… Everything was smooth sailing!! Onions took 40 min for me, and cauliflower 25. I omitted the truffle oil/salt since I didn’t have any, and I combined Dijon mustard with trader joes Dijon garlic aioli in the crust! It was amazing! I also added 2 tbsp of ice water to the crust because I was worried about dryness. What would be the main difference had I omitted the water and followed crust as is?

    Thank you so much for your amazing recipes, and mostly, the inspiration and confidence to bake things that look like such a challenge!

  180. Sounds amazing. I want to make 10 for a party..can they be frozen? Would you bake completely first and then freeze and reheat?
    Thanks!

  181. I am wondering whether it would be best to use a sweet onion, such as Maui, Vidalia or Walla Walla, or just a regular yellow onion.

    1. Barbara — I don’t find that I get the same depth of flavor from caramelized onions if I start with a “sweet” variety. But that’s just me; you might not mind.

  182. I made this for the first time last night, I don’t know how I missed it back in 2010 but I am kicking myself now for the wasted years. The best way to describe this dish is that it tastes like Quiche and Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce met and had a baby. Delicious!

  183. I have made this twice with varied results. The first try I followed the recipe exactly and it was fantastic! I thought I would try it again with lighter substitutions (milk instead of heavy cream, etc.) and it was really lacking that extra pow flavor. Note to self: the extra calories are worth it. Thanks for the recipe!

  184. Hello, this looks delicious as do many of the recipes here. About the savory tart shell I would love to make this one, but I’m a continental European and I honestly don’t understand the amount of butter… what is a stick/tablespoon/ounce? We have neither of those things here! Can I please get this one in grams? (I’m sure you heard this one before). Since I’ve been looking for ages for a tart shell that doesn’t need to be parbaked I will be eternally grateful. Thank you!

  185. I made this tonight for the first time, in a 9 inch pie pan because I didn’t have a tart pan. It turned out so delicious! The only problem I had was my oven runs cool and I ended up with a liquid center at 40 min. I ended up covering the edges of the dough so it wouldn’t over brown and it ultimately took nearly 80 min for the center to set. Thought that may help someone with the same issue! Thanks for the recipe!

  186. What a winner this was! My husband was muttering darkly about there being no meat for dinner, my 4 year old daughter was squinting suspiciously about there being cauliflower in the tart, and the 1 year old daughter was squawking that it wasn’t a plate of blueberries. But everyone gobbled it up and wanted more! I made this into 2 x 4″ tart pans plus a couple of cup cake tarts. They all worked well. I had less cream cheese on hand than required so I added a couple more eggs. Thanks for a great recipe, Deb – for the whole family!

  187. This was delicious! I followed the recipe closely but had no luck with the pastry at first. It just wouldn’t come together at all so I added a few splashes of milk until it did. It still broke a lot and was hard to roll out so I pieced it together in the pan. The filling is wonderful and I’ll certainly make it again. The dijon is a perfect touch. Perhaps I’ll try adding a little finely chopped sautéed bacon or prosciutto next time.

  188. This was delicious! ! But only three of the five of us liked it which sadly means it probably won’t make the rotation again. The crust was very dry, hard to get it to come together & hard to roll out but cooked perfectly & delicious. I’ll be using it again in some other type of tart so thanks again.

  189. Hi. Every time I make this tart and take that first bite, I always think to myself why I do not make this more often. This tart is absolutely delicious. The dijon is key. Wonderful recipe.

  190. I made this this weekend, and it was delicious, between 3 adults, we cleaned it up! My partner had 3 slices! Not a “light” dinner, but damn it was good. :) I usually make my own pie crust but used frozen one this time, baaah, fortunately I will definitely be making this again, next time with my (your recipe) awesome pie crust.

  191. This is under the Freezer Friendly section. Does that mean I can make the whole tart, let it cool, wrap it well and freeze it? Suggestions for thawing?

    OR is the freezer reference just to the crust?

    Thanks!

  192. I just made this, and it came out BEAUTIFULLY. I did not have mascarpone so I blended 2 parts cream cheese with 1 part sour cream, and it worked very well. I also added freshly chopped dill, and really complimented all the other lovely flavors. Very excited about this. I’m calling it an “anniversary tart” because I made it for my parents’ 31st wedding anniversary. Can’t wait to make it again though for my next dinner party!

  193. Hi Deb! I am hoping to get your thoughts on this… I would LOVE to make this for my birthday next week, but I am really not too keen on Dijon. I have never liked the flavor. Is it a crucial part of the tart? Thanks so much!!

    1. Annie — We like it here, but we like it everywhere. No reason you cannot skip a flavor that doesn’t suit you; there’s lots else going on here flavor-wise.

  194. any suggestions for a meat that could accompany this? I’ve made it before and know it’s plenty filling, but making it as part of a dinner for my meat-loving father…

  195. Any idea how long the tart crust keeps. I was thinking of making a double batch for other recipes i.e. I’ve got a bunch of broccoli and cauliflower in the fridge and should use it up.

  196. Made this today for dinner with some modifications. Added a little crumbled bacon and blanched, chopped lacinato kale to the egg-mascarpone mixture. Also, prebaked a tart shell made from shredded potato, egg and flour – sort of like a potato latke crust!

  197. I made this on a Sunday so I had time to do some prep during my son’s nap (my survival strategy. Not exactly sure what happens once that nap evaporates…) Well worth the effort! It was delicious. We enjoyed it warmed up the next night as well. For anyone wondering, I made it without the mustard (inclusion would be grounds for divorce in our house), truffle salt/oil, and subbing whole milk for the whipping cream. I’d love to try it as written some time but it was still really yummy without the extras. I also used the crust recipe here. I could see how it might end up on the verge of being unworkable, but once I kneaded it a bit as advised, it did start to come together just enough. Phew! There were definitely some patch jobs once in the tart shell, but it held together. Thanks, once again, Deb, for the constant source of great recipes and guidance!!