Yotam Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower Cake
And unsurprisingly, Ottolenghi came through with this recipe for a cauliflower cake that is good fresh, cold, at room temperature, for breakfast, lunch, or really any time at all.
When I asked Ottolenghi about his favorite lunches, he made special note of lunches that can be eaten at room temperature, especially this one. He also notes the beautiful flexibility of this savory cake in the book’s introduction to the recipe.
– Christine, May 2015
Serves4 to 6
small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into 1 1/4-inch florets (about 4 cups)
- 2 teaaspoons
kosher salt, divided
medium red onion
- 5 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon
finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
- 1 tablespoon
white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon
nigella (also known as black caraway), cumin, or black sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup
fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups
coarsely grated Parmesan or aged cheese
- 1 cup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Meanwhile, prepare the cake.
Place the cauliflower florets and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and simmer over medium-high heat until the florets are quite soft, about 15 minutes. They should break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.
Cut 4 round slices, each 1/4-inch, off one end of the onion and set aside. Dice the rest of the onion and place in a small frying pan with the oil and rosemary. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, line the base and sides of a 9 1/2-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Brush the sides with melted butter, then mix together the sesame and other seeds and toss them around the inside of the pan so that they stick to the sides.
Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the eggs and basil and whisk well to combine. Add the cheese, flour, baking powder, turmeric, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and plenty of pepper. Whisk until smooth. Add the cauliflower and stir gently, trying not to break up the florets.
Pour the cauliflower mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly, and arrange the reserved onion rings on top. Bake until golden brown and set, about 45 minutes. A knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving. It needs to be served just warm, rather than hot, or at room temperature.
Baking pan options: If you don't have a springform pan, you can just use a regular 9-inch cake pan or even an 8-inch square pan, but still line with parchment paper first.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reprinted with permission from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.