Posted by terrepruitt on March 25, 2016
So yummy. My friend posted on Facebook that she had to explain to her child that the Cauliflower Cake she made for dinner was a savory CAKE, not like a birthday cake. She said it was a recipe from Ottolenghi. Of course I Googled it and I was intrigued. Then I noticed that a head of cauliflower was to be delivered in our produce box so I thought, ok. The challenge according to the posted recipe was finding the nigella seeds, but I think Amazon meets each and every challenge with a “pppprrrruuuuuf”. I ordered both the white sesame seeds and nigella seeds online and had them before my scheduled produce delivery. The recipe noted you can use black sesame, black cumin, or onion seeds instead of the nigella/black caraway seeds.
I altered this recipe because I used the head of cauliflower I had and did not specifically shop for a small one as the recipe called for. I also could not bring myself to use the 5 (FIVE) tablespoons of olive oil that the recipe called for. I put two in the pan and almost stopped there, but decided to go with three . . . which I think was PLENTY!
I don’t like biting into rosemary stems so I had my husband grind them. He used a mortar and pestle and he does an excellent job making them fine and powdery! I also used SHAVED cheese instead of shredded Parmesan, and it was actually a Parmesan/Romano blend. I like how there is more cheese in a bite that way . . . but I am sure either is fine. The recipe called for unsalted butter, which I bought once for a recipe a long time ago and will not be doing that again. So I used regular butter.
Since I use my blog as my recipe book I put my ideas for next time I make this in the recipe below in asterisked italics. That way I don’t have to continue to scroll down to check what I want to do different and I won’t forget because it will be right there.)
This is what I did, which is an adaptation of Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe I found on thekitchn.com
Savory Cauliflower Cake
(Serves 4 to 6)
1 cauliflower head, cut into pieces (not small pieces, about an inch big)
1 medium red onion
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves (which I had my hubby grind up for me)
7 large eggs
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped **use more**
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon (heaping) ground turmeric **1/2 to 1 teaspoon**
1 1/2 cups shaved Parmesan or Parmesan/Romano
Melted butter, for brushing the sides of the pan
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (also known as black caraway)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt **to 2 teaspoon**
black pepper (to taste)
9 1/2 springform pan (or a 9-inch cake pan or even an 8-inch square pan)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. (The original recipe called for 400° F, I mistakenly did it at 450° which requires less time . . . .so I think I will stick to 450° F and bake it for less time.)
Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and cook until the florets are quite soft. They should break when pressed with a fork. (But don’t break them up.) Drain and set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients (whatever you didn’t get done while the cauliflower was cooking).
Peel the onion, then cut 3 slices, almost 1/4-inch/5-mm thick, off one end. Set the onion rings aside.
Heat up the 3 tablespoons of oil in a small pan.
Coarsely chop the remaining onion and cook it in the oil with the rosemary, stirring as necessary. Cook it until the onion is soft. When done remove from heat and set aside.
While the onion is cooking you can line the bottom and sides of the springform pan or your chosen baking dish with parchment paper. Then use the melted butter to butter the paper in the pan, the sides and the bottom. In the 9 1/2 inch springform the mixture does not go all the way up to the top so you only need to butter about halfway up. Mix the white sesame seeds and the nigella seeds together. Then sprinkle the seed mixture on the sides of the pan. **USE ALL THE SEEDS! Perhaps even putting them on the bottom of the pan.**
While your onions are cooling, break the 7 eggs into a large bowl and whisk well. Add the basil and whisk. Add the cooked onion and rosemary mixture to the eggs. Whisking and stirring. Then stir in the flour, baking powder, turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir until all ingredients are mixed well. Then mix in the Parmesan. Then add the cooked cauliflower. Don’t stir too much that you break up all the flowerets into little pieces, but mix it enough so that it is all mixed together.
Pour the egg and cauliflower mixture into the pan. Spreading it evenly, then put the onion rings on top. **Sprinkle some seeds on top** Place in the center of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Bake it until golden brown. Check complete doneness by inserting a knife into the center. It is done when the knife comes out clean. Remove from the oven and serve to your liking, hot, warm, or cold.
I ate on this for a few days. I can’t wait to make it again with my extra **tweaks. I really like it. I thought it was super yummy. You can use it as the main dish or a side and serve it with a salad and something meaty. It could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is yummy!
Well, what do you think?