I first saw a recipe for a ‘sformata’ over the summer in an Italian cooking magazine and have been dying to try one. ‘Sformata’ basically translates to ‘flan’ and can think of a million ways that I would like to try thi technique. So when this recipe popped up in the November issue of La Cucina Italiana, I had to add it to the menu for the holiday. This was very easy to make and I made it early morning on Thanksgiving and re-heated later in the day….was delicious! Light, fluffy and yummy! Enjoy!
Cauliflower Sformato (Sformato di Cavolfiore)
Recipe from La Cucina Italiana, November issue
- For the béchamel:
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons plus 3⁄4 teaspoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- For the cauliflower and custard:
- 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
Make the béchamel: Combine milk, butter and flour in a heavy medium saucepan; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, first with a whisk, then with a wooden spoon, until sauce is very thick, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove béchamel from heat, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, and cover surface with plastic wrap to keep skin from forming.
Cook the cauliflower: Remove any leaves from cauliflower, leaving core intact. Cut cauliflower into quarters and put in a large pot. Add water to come up 1 inch. Cook, covered, over high heat until cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes; then drain.
Make the custard: Heat oven to 325°. Beat eggs in a large bowl; add béchamel and whisk to combine. Add cauliflower, cheese, salt and pepper; stir to combine.