This crustless broccoli and cheese tart is going to knock your socks off. It’s made with an entire head of broccoli, packed with cheese and bound together with egg. You can serve it hot as a vegetable side with a roast, or let it go cold, and eat a slice for a quick and easy lunch, or a breakfast-on-the-go. And instead of baking it in the oven you fry it on the stove in a frying pan!
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Crustless broccoli and cheese tart
This is crustless broccoli and cheese tart with a twist. It looks oven-baked, and it even tastes oven-baked, but believe it or not, it’s made in a frying pan on the stove. And today I’m going to show you how to make it in only 20 minutes.
Originally, when I was mixing the batter for this tart, I had intended to make broccoli and cheese fritters. But once the batter had been mixed it looked more like a cake batter than a fritter batter so I decided to make it all in one in the frying pan. And I’m so glad I did – it turned out perfectly.
I had a bit of difficulty in coming up with a name, because this is actually a cross between a quiche, a tart and a frittata (qui-tart-ta?) but eventually I decided it most closely resembled a tart and so my crustless broccoli and cheese tart was born.
The secret is to cook it in a frying pan on the stove
The tart looks as though it has been baked it in the oven. The outside is golden and slightly crispy, while the inside has a lovely spongy texture, crammed with tender broccoli and tasty cheese. Cut a slice and it is firm enough to pick up with your fingers to eat. But it takes only a fraction of the time it would take to make it in the oven.
The direct heat from the stove cooks the tart evenly from underneath, and the heat transfers up through the tarts and starts to set the filling. After 5 minutes the tart is cooked half-way through, with a lovely golden brown bottom. All that needs doing is to flip the tart to allow the other side to brown and cook in the same way. 10 minutes from start to finish – what could be faster?
A crustless broccoli and cheese tart is the ideal tart to cook while you are having a barbeque or cookout. Just tip the batter into a greased frying pan and pop it on the grill alongside your hamburgers or sausages and leave it to brown. Turn it over half way through cooking and brown the other side and you have an instant side dish to serve with your meat and salads.
I like to eat a slice, cold, for a quick breakfast-on-the-go. And with only 169 calories per slice, it makes a great meal for dieters!
How to make a crustless broccoli and cheese tart
The ingredients for this tart will be sufficient for an 8″diameter (20cm) frying pan. You can get the complete recipe on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
This tart is made by combining eggs and flour together to form a smooth paste and then mixing with the cheese and broccoli. There is no liquid in this dish as that would make the end result too runny.
You will need a whole head of broccoli which should be cooked until it is just tender. You can steam it if you like, or boil it in a saucepan, but you will need to drain it thoroughly afterward to get rid of all the water. Or read on for the foolproof way to cook perfect broccoli.
The foolproof way to cook perfect broccoli
Cut it into florets and place it in a microwave safe bowl. You can use the stems too. Just cut away the outer skin as this can be quite tough and slice the stems into approximately 1cm (1/2″) batons.
Sprinkle with a pinch of salt (optional) and cover the bowl with a lid. If you don’t have a bowl with a lid, just cover the bowl with a layer of clingfilm. Do not add any water – the microwave will cook the broccoli to perfection without any additional liquid.
Place the covered bowl in the microwave and cook on high power for exactly 3 minutes. I have a 900W microwave, you may need to adust the time if your microwave has a different wattage. Remove from the microwave and let it cool down. And that’s it, the broccoli will be perfectly tender, and dry, so there is no need to strain afterwards.
Let the broccoli cool down and then cut it into approximately 1cm to 2 cm pieces (1/2″ to 1″).
Now take a mixing bowl and break in 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of plain all purpose flour. Add 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt (as always, salt is optional) and whisk until all the lumps have been removed. You can use self-raising flour if you like, but omit the baking powder.
Tip in the broccoli and 1 cup of grated cheese and mix to combine.
How to cook cheese and broccoli tart in a frying pan
Take an 8″ (20cm) diameter non-stick frying pan and heat 1 tablespoon sunflower or other neutral flavoured oil. You only need enough oil to lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the oil is hot just swirl it around to coat the pan evenly.
Place the mixture into the pan and press it down gently with a spatula, so that it fills the pan.
Cook over a mediium heat for about 5 minutes. You should see the edges of the tart start to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan.
The tricky bit is turning the tart so it can cook on the other side!
Take a large dinner plate and invert it over the pan. Take the handle of the pan in one hand and place your other hand over the dinner plate to hold it in place. Still holding the plate over the pan, turn the pan over and the tart should drop out onto the plate. Carefully slide the tart back into the pan and allow it to continue cooking until the underside is browned. This should take approximately 5 minutes. Use a spatula to lift the tart if you want to take a look to see how well it is browning.
Remove from the heat, slide out of the pan onto a plate, and allow to cool.
How do I serve broccoli and cheese tart?
This is a very versatile tart and it can be served either hot or cold.
Go the traditional route, and serve it hot as a vegetable side dish alongside your favourite roast.
Take it on a picnic as a delicious cold snack or serve with a slice of ham and a hard-boiled egg for an easy lunch. Or you could even eat a slice for a quick breakfast-on-the-go!
And, my favourite way, is to cook it outdoors (in the frying pan) over a barbeque or grill, instead of on the stove, and serve with the grilled meat and this delicious smoked salmon pasta salad with homemade ranch dressing or this salmon and red pepper pasta salad with corn.
Don’t forget to check out my handy Cookery Conversion Calculator if you want to convert any of your recipe measurements from grams to cups, ounces, tablespoons or millilitres and vice versa. You can also use the calculator for converting oven temperatures between Fahrenheit, Celsius and Gas marks.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read all about it in this post on baking at high altitudes.
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Recipe – Crustless broccoli and cheese tart (in a frying pan)
Cheese and broccoli tart (made in a frying pan)
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1 medium head of broccoli
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup plain all purpose flour
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt optional
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil for frying
- Cut the broccoli into florets (including the stems) and microwave in a covered dish on high for 3 minutes. Allow to cool
- Break 2 eggs into a mixing bowl and add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional), 1 teaspoon baking powder and whisk until all the lumps have been removed.
- Cut the cold broccoli into 1cm to 2 cm chunks (½"to 1")
- Mix the broccoli and cheese into the egg mixture.
- Heat 1 tablespoon sunflower oil in an 8" frying pan and swirl the oil around to coat the pan.
- Spoon the broccoli mixture into the frying pan and press down gently with a spatula to distribute evenly in the pan
- Fry over a medium/low heat for 5 minutes until the bottom of the tart is nicely browned.
- To turn the tart over so the other side can cook, invert a large plate over the frying pan, and holding the plate in place with one hand, take hold of the handle of the frying pan and turn the pan over. The tart should fall out onto the plate.
- Slide the tart back into the frying pan and cook the other side for approximately 5 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the heat, slide the tart out of the pan onto a plate, and leave to cool.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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