A photo of this recipe graces the back cover of Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. Conclusively, it must be one of the cookbook’s greatest hits. It is certainly one of the most photogenic. With its’ complementary color schema, poppin’ purple onion rings, herb freckled surface, it’s nearly modelesque. Instagram undoubtedly crosses one’s mind when admiring this cake. And, as it turns out, of the recipes in Ottolenghi’s all veggie Plenty More this cauliflower cake is a unique, flavorful, and versatile option. Looks good and tastes good too! It is spongey from the eggs, but not at all similar to a quiche or frittata. The rosemary and parmesan add a savoriness which is balanced with a little sweetness from the fresh basil. And the cauliflower creates a wonderful texture and density.
This cake can serve as the main dish of any meal. We enjoyed a slice for dinner with a green salad and some cheese. And to avoid any stressing as Ottolenghi recipes often have a difficult twist, we simplified this recipe a little bit. You can find the original on The Kitchn.
- 1 small cauliflower, leaves removed, broken in to 1 1/4 inch florets (about 4 cups)
- 1 medium red onion, peeled
- 5 TBS olive oil
- 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
- 7 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 tsp turmeric
- 1 1/2 cups fresh grated parmesan
- salt & pepper ~ to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place cauliflower florets in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and add 1 tsp salt. Bring water to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes, until florets are soft. You’ll want the florets to break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.
- Cut about 1/3 of the red onion into thin round slices, each 1/4 inch thick and set aside. Coarsely chop the remainder of the onion and place it in a small pan with 5 TBS oil and rosemary. Cook for ten minutes over medium heat until soft, stirring to ensure onions don’t stick or burn. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Once cool, transfer onion to a large bowl. Add the eggs and basil, whisk well, and then add flour, baking soda, turmeric, parm, 1 tsp salt, and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Whisk until smooth, but be mindful. This cake does not need lots of whisking. Add cauliflower, incorporating into the batter with a wooden spoon. Try not to break up florets too much, unless you have some larger guys like we did. You don’t want cauliflower popping out too much from your cake batter.
- Line the base and sides of a 9 1/2 inch springform cake pan with parchment paper. Or, if you don’t have a springform pan, use a 9 inch round cake pan instead, lined with parchment paper. Make sure paper comes up the sides to easily remove the cake. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly, and arrange 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 oven and let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. Serve just warm.
Details: Serves 4 to 6. Perfect for morning after leftovers.