Smoky, cheesey cauliflower frittata

Smoky scamorza, sweet paprika, earthy cauliflower, bound together with eggs and cream fraiche, this simple dish is a salve to a hot day at work. Sitting quietly now with a glass of sav, and a satisfying plate, this is a great counter-point to endless salads of summer, and makes a warming supper in winter.

Scamorza affumicata is a Southern Italian smoked cows milk cheese. It has a distinctive shape like two balls of cheese kludged together, as if it ate rather too much at Christmas and is tying to squeeze into its favourite pair of jeans.

It’s a pasta filata cheese which means the curds have been heated to give a stretchy, pliable texture. Cousin to mozzarella and bursts, you want the smoked version.

If you can’t find scarmorza another smoked cheese would do. Substitution is the key to great cooking and it’s the combo of smoke, sweet and cream that makes this delicious.

This recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty.

Smoky fritata

1 small cauliflower, cut into medium florets
6 eggs
4 tablespoons creme fraiche
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
3 tablespoon chopped chives
150g smoked scmorza, grated (include the skin for its extra flavour)
50g mature cheddar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and black pepper

Simmer the cauliflower in a large pot of boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, until just cooked. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 190 C. Break eggs into bowl and whisk in well the creme fraiche, mustard, and paprika.

Stir in chives and 3/4 of cheese, season really well with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in large oven-proof fry pan. Fry cauliflower til it is colder on one side. This takes between 5-10 minutes, may be a tad longer.

Pour over the egg mixture, spreading it out evenly with a fork. Cook on medium for 5 minutes.

Scatter remaining cheese on top and move pan into the oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the frittata is well set and golden on top.

Remove from oven, rest for 2-3 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve with a salad.

Note: I got my Scamorza at MediFoods in Newtown but I’ve seen it in supermarkets, so keep an eye out,

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