My favorite cookbook of 2014 is “Plenty More” by Yotam Ottonlenghi. This dynamic, flavor-packed cookbook is WOW from the first page to the last. I drooled over every photo. The recipes are fresh and vibrant with an ethnic spin. It really made me rethink how to use vegetables. It is the perfect way to start the new year.
I have made this cauliflower cake recipe 5 times and have taken it to 4 parties. Don’t let the name cake fool you. It is a savory dish that resembles a frittata or crustless quiche and is served at room temperature, which makes it a natural for potlucks, picnics and parties. This cake is my current favorite recipe in Yotam’s latest cookbook.
I purchased a ticket to hear Yotam speak at a LIVE TALKS LA event while he was in Los Angeles.
He was as charming as his recipes are delightful. You can watch the interview by clicking here.
I was so inspired by his recipes that I planned an “Ottonlenghi-inspired” dinner party. I prepared 10 different recipes and to my surprise each guest chose a different dish as their favorite of the evening.
The meal was vegetable varied, creatively colorful and delightfully delicious. And no one missed eating meat!
The cauliflower cake is easy to make. I just wanted to add a few notes.
Use the ends of the onions to get the different size rings. One side shows off the beautiful purple color.
When placing the parchment paper in the springform pan, butter the pan first so the parchment sticks to the pan. Then butter the inside so the seeds will stick.
Mix the batter, but don’t over do it. Fold in the cauliflower.
Once you pour the thick mixture into the springform pan arrange the onions on the top and lightly push them down. This will help keep them from burning.
Once it cools the parchment paper easily pulls away, revealing your colorful masterpiece.
- 1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into 1¼-inch/3-cm florets (1 lb/450 grams)
- 1 medium red onion, peeled (6 ounces/170 grams)
- 5 tablespoons/75 ml olive oil
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
- 7 eggs
- ½ cup/15 grams basil leaves, chopped
- 1 cup/120 grams all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ⅓ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 5 ounces/150 grams coarsely grated Parmesan
- Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds (I used black sesame seeds)
- Salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC.
- Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, until the florets are quite soft. They should break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.
- Cut 4 round slices, each ¼ inch/5 mm thick, off one end of the onion and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest of the onion and place in a small pan with the oil and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the onion to a large bowl, add the eggs and basil, whisk, and then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and plenty of pepper. Whisk until smooth before adding the cauliflower and stirring gently, trying not to break up the florets.
- Line the base and sides of a 9½-inch/24-cm springform cake pan with parchment paper. Brush the sides with melted butter, then mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them around the inside of the pan so that they stick to the sides. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly, and arrange the reserved onion rings on top. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set; a knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving. It needs to be served just warm, rather than hot, or at room temperature.
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME:1 hour 50 minutes
My girlfriend Christina from Christina’s Cucina brought me a gorgeous thistle tea towel back from Scotland. I thought the colors would make a pretty backdrop for this stunning savory cake. It wasn’t until I was reviewing the pictures that I saw Mr. Cauliflower Head appear… Oh No!
I will be serving this cake on it from now on just for giggles.
When a dish tastes good, travels well and makes you smile inside and out, that recipe is a keeper.
…and then, she paused for thought.