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Cauliflower "Cake"

TIME: 1 HOUR, 15 MINS; SERVES: 6 - 8
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s, Plenty More

After making cauliflower purée from half of a large cauliflower head, I was searching for a dish to use the remaining half. Flipping through Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty More, I found his recipe for Cauliflower Cake. Substituting almond flour for all-purpose makes it low-carb & gluten-free, and the addition of different spices and herbs produces a really lovely, vegetarian entrée.

I expected a very dense cake from the almond flour, but the quantity of eggs and baking powder produced a light, yet satisfying crumb—delicious paired with an arugula salad & simple vinaigrette. This cake is arguably better the following day, which makes it perfect for a quick lunch on the go.

INGREDIENTS

1 small cauliflower head, or half of a larger head, broken into florets
3 tbls. butter or ghee
2 large shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/8 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
7 large eggs
1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup aged, sharp cheddar or Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbls. capers, chopped
2 tbls. sesame seeds
1 tbls. nigella seeds
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Bring a saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.

  3. Slice 4 rounds from the center of the shallots, and chop the rest. Add the butter to a heavy-bottom pan and heat over medium-low heat until frothy. Add the chopped shallots, garlic, fennel & mustard seeds, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook until browned & fragrant, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool.

  4. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the parsley, almond flour, baking powder, cheese, shallot mixture, turmeric, ~1 tsp. salt, and lots of fresh ground pepper. Mix until smooth before gently folding in the cauliflower florets.

  5. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with butter. Trace the pan on parchment paper, and cut a circle to line the bottom. Mix the sesame & nigella seeds together, and sift them around the bottom and sides of the pan to coat.

  6. Pour in the cauliflower mixture and arrange the shallot slices on top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  7. Remove and let cool for 15 - 20 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges to loosen. To remove from the pan, flip onto a plate, discard the parchment paper, and flip back over onto a serving platter.

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