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Sautéed Cauliflower Frittata with Thyme

Nancy Silverton often prepares a tender frittata for her antipasti table at La Terza in Los Angeles. This version includes sautéed cauliflower topped with homemade bread crumbs for a lovely bit of crunch. Silverton's trick for making small amounts of bread crumbs is to toast a slice of sourdough bread, rub it with a garlic clove and grind it in a mortar.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower cut into 1-inch florets (2 cups)
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 10 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs from 1 piece of toast
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Truffle salt or fleur de sel and aged balsamic vinegar, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a 10-inch, nonstick, oven-proof skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the olive oil. Add the cauliflower florets, season with sea salt and cook over high heat, without stirring, until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Toss the cauliflower florets in the pan and cook until golden brown all over and just-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Add the sliced onion and 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the garlic and cook until it is softened, about 1 minute longer. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and swirl the pan to melt it.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs with 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Pour the eggs over the cauliflower and cook, without stirring, until the bottom of the frittata is just set, about 2 minutes. Lift the edges of the frittata and tilt the pan to allow the uncooked egg mixture to seep underneath. Continue cooking the frittata until the bottom is golden and the top is just slightly runny, about 3 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and thyme over the frittata and bake until it is just set, about 3 minutes longer. Sprinkle the frittata with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and slide it onto a work surface or platter. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with truffle salt and balsamic vinegar.

Make Ahead

The frittatas can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published July 2005

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