Recipe: Vegetarian Cauliflower Cake with Olive Oil

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I have made this spectacular vegetarian dish from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi at least six times in the past month, comments Bonnie Stern – the author of twelve best-selling cookbooks.

That’s a favourite recipe! Sometimes I roast the cauliflower, sometimes I use a mixture of smoked and aged cheddar and sometimes I use different herbs but it all starts with this recipe.


-1 small cauliflower (about 2 lbs), trimmed and broken into 1 1/2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
-1 medium red onion
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
-7 eggs
-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
-2/3 cup all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/3 tsp turmeric
-1 1/2 cups coarsely grated
-Parmesan or other aged cheese
-melted butter for brushing pan
-1 tbsp white sesame seeds
-1 tsp nigella seeds
-kosher salt
-freshly ground black pepper


1. Place cauliflower and 1 tsp salt in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer 15 minutes until florets are tender and break apart with pressed. Drain well and pat dry.

2. Cut four round thin slices off one end of the red onion. Break it apart into rounds. Select about 16 rounds of different sizes to decorate the top. Chop remaining onion and extra slices. Cook onions in oil with rosemary until tender. Transfer to a large bowl and cool. Beat in eggs and basil. Whisk flour with baking powder, turmeric and 1 1/2 tsp salt and beat into eggs. Add cheese and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Fold in cauliflower.

3. Line bottom and sides of 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper (butter sides of pan lightly to hold parchment in place). Butter sides of parchment paper and sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds. Pour in cauliflower mixture and smooth evenly. Arrange onion rings on top. Place on a baking sheet (in case pan leaks) and bake in a preheated 350F for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean and top is golden. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

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Recipe: Vegetarian Cauliflower Cake with Olive Oil, 3.9 out of 10 based on 94 ratings

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