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Cauliflower Pie with Grated Potato Crust

2010 January 9
by brannyboilsover

I had no idea I was sitting down with a food critic when I served this recipe as a side dish for dinner the other night.  Based on the Omnivore’s comments, it seems as though he was recently schooled in recipe reviewing and he set out critiquing this dish from crust to filling.

He addressed the visual appeal, flavor, and texture.  Below are his comments.

Absolutely beautiful, especially with the tinged bits of browned cauliflower on top.

Unmolds cleanly and sets up well as the perfect vegetable-starch side dish.

Cuts perfectly with the side of a fork, yet stays together as one cohesive mass on the fork from the plate to the mouth.

Great flavor.  Could use more cheese. I cut the cheese down significantly!  I never told him there was cheese in the recipe, though, so I feel if he could taste it, there was enough.  You may want to be more heavy handed, though.

Reheats wonderfully and even better as leftovers.  The grated potato crust is delicious.

The recipe instructs that the pie be made in a pie pan.  I decided to be brave, though, and attempt to make this dish in my springform pan (I have yet to actually make a cheesecake in my springform pan…), hoping that it would unmold.  It did!

The grated potato crust could be used as a base for many veggies.  That recipe is a keeper!  I used my food processor for the majority of the preparation: shredding potatoes, chopping onion and cauliflower, and shredding cheese.  I encourage you to do the same.

Cauliflower Pie with Grated Potato Crust (serves 5, adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook)

For the potato crust
2 cups packed grated raw potatoes (red potatoes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white, beaten
1/4 cup grated onion

For the Filling
1/2 cup packed grated strong cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup parmesean cheese (or more cheddar)
1 medium cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup chopped onion
1 dash thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
black pepper

Combine grated potato with salt, onion, and beaten egg.  Press into a 9″ pan (I used a 10″ springform) that has been brushed with oil.  Bake in a preheated 400* oven for 30-40 minutes until it browns.  Remove from oven and lower temperture to 350*.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese over pie crust.

Meanwhile, saute chopped onion in a nonstick pan with thyme, basil, and salt.  Add garlic and cook lightly.  Add pepper to taste.  Break cauliflower up into small florets (I encourage you to just pulse in a food processor until chunky).  Combine onion mixture with cauliflower and remaining cheddar cheese.  Pour into prepared pie crust.  Beat together milk with egg and pour over vegetable mixture.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.  Filling will appear dry.

Bake for 40 minutes until tender and delicious.  Let set 5-10 minutes before unmolding (if using a springform pan).

5 servings

Calories 228.8
Total Fat 4.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.6 g
Protein 12.0 g

  • bridget

    Love, love, love this idea.

  • jen

    Looks great! Is the recipe shown with the amount of cheese you used, or the original amount?

    • brannyboilsover

      I posted it with the amount of cheese I used…not the original amount.

  • tuppence

    I have a question on the potato….. did you rinse and/or squeeze excess moisture out? Or just literally grate and go? And is it pressed onto the bottom only of the pan, or up the sides a little bit?

    This sounds sooooo delish and I am going to try it this week. I just want to make sure I do it right! :)

    • brannyboilsover

      I did NOT squeeze excess moisture out of my potatoes – but I did notice other versions of this recipe online did do that. But I literally grated and went with it. Mollie Katzen (author of recipe) instructs you to push the potato up onto the sides of the pan to make a “handsome crust.” So, yeah, form an edge. Enjoy!

      • tuppence

        thank you so much! I just bought my head of cauliflower and now with your notes I am good to go! I can hardly wait!

  • Melissa

    Yum! I have got to try this!

  • Kerstin

    Aww, what cute comments :) Love that potato crust – yum!

  • Amateur Cook

    I am intrigued by making this and after reading about this one at – I think yours is going to be the chosen one. :•)