This recipe is part of Ottolenghi's ongoing campaign to give cauliflower some well-earned glory. It's one of the most magnificent of all vegetables and, to him, it's as versatile as the treasured potato. Serve as a light supper or, kept chilled, the cake will taste even better the next day. Serves four to six.
- 1 medium cauliflower, 650g-700g
- 1 large red onion, peeled
- 100g olive oil
- ½ tsp finely chopped rosemary
- 10 medium free-range eggs
- 20g chopped basil
- 180g plain flour
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 220g grated parmesan, or other mature cheese
- Salt and black pepper
- Melted butter, for greasing
- 2 tbsp black sesame seeds (or black onion seeds or plain sesame seeds)
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Break the cauliflower into medium florets, put them in a pot with a teaspoon of salt, cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, until quite soft. Strain, and leave in the colander for a few minutes to get rid of all the water.
While the cauliflower's cooking, prepare the batter. Cut a few 0.5cm rings off one end of the onion and set aside (these will go on top of the cake); coarsely chop the rest. Heat the oil in a pan and on a low heat sauté the chopped onion and rosemary for eight minutes. Remove from the heat, leave to cool down, add the eggs and basil, and whisk.
Sift the flour, baking powder and turmeric into a large bowl, and add the parmesan, one and a half teaspoons of salt and plenty of black pepper. Add the egg mix and whisk to eliminate lumps. Add the cauliflower and stir gently, trying to keep some florets whole.
Use baking parchment to line the bottom of a 24cm round cake tin with a loose base. Brush the sides with butter, put in the sesame seeds and toss them around so they stick to the sides. Tip in the cauliflower mix and arrange the onion rings on top.Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set. Serve just warm or at room temperature.
as seen here.
PS: one major setback with cooking cauliflower - the smell!!!!!!! make sure you air out your house and light your fave scented candle (moi - Diptique "Feu de Bois") to prevent the cauliflower stench from lingering...