There's certainly no shortage of cauliflower recipes on this blog and each recipe highlights just how versatile the often maligned cauliflower can be. There's the unusual cauliflower couscous, Italian cauliflower fritters, Indian inspired cauliflower pakoras, cauliflower and stilton soup and to finish off, that all time favourite, cauliflower with bechamel sauce
The dish I'm making this week is Ottolenghi's Cauliflower Cake which would be best described as a crustless quiche. There's lots of eggs and lots of cheese and having made it, I think it's one of those recipes that can be constantly adapted - changing the cheese types or herbs or spices used will totally transform the dish. I'd also recommend replacing some of the cauliflower with broccoli or brussels sprouts.
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
1 red onion
small sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
8 large eggs
large handful basil leaves, ripped
170 grams plain flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon turmeric (this just enhances the colour)
200 grams cheese (I used a mix of parmesan and cheddar)
sea salt and ground white pepper
From the medium sized cauliflower I managed to get 720 grams of prepared florets. I don't think you need to be too obsessed about the weight - if you're under or over it really shouldn't matter.
Boil the cauliflower until soft, drain well and allow to cool completely. While the cauliflower is cooking prepare the onion.
Cut the onion in half and then cut a few slices off each half to use as decoration - roughly chop the rest of the onion. Heat a little oil and a knob of butter in a pan over a low heat and add the chopped onion and rosemary - sauté gently until softened and golden. Set this aside to cool.
Sift the flour, baking powder and turmeric together into a bowl. Add in the grated cheese, salt and pepper - use a fork to mix the cheese through the flour.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the basil and cooled onion mixture - pour this into the combined flour mixture. Whisk to create a smoothish batter - it won't be perfectly smooth due to the cheese and onions.
Now tip in the cooled, cooked cauliflower and still using a whisk stir it until evenly distributed through the batter.
Pour this into a well-greased and baking paper lined springform pan - top the cake with the reserved slices of onion.
For the best result I'd probably use a silicon tin as the cheese content of this cake makes it prone to sticking even in non-stick pans.
Bake in a preheated 170°C oven until cooked through and golden - about 40 to 50 minutes depending on the size of the pan used.
Before trying to un-mould, make sure you run a flat-blade knife around the edge to ensure it won't stick.
As it's Melbourne Cup day on Tuesday, entertaining is certainly on the agenda - so I've also made this cake in a more portable form.
I've made individual cakes using a large muffin tin - you should get somewhere between 10 and 12 cakes from the mix. Time taken to cook is around 20 minutes - for best results do use silicon cases. While you can enjoy these straight from the oven, they are just as good served cold.