Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower Cake

cauliflower cake-1I’ve had the cookbook “Plenty More” by Ottolenghi for quite a while and hadn’t yet tried out their cauliflower cake recipe yet. But lately I keep seeing the recipe popping up all over the food blogs. My curiosity was peaked, and I had to try it. It was my first time making a savory cake and I must say, I’m a believer.

cauliflower cake-3It was so easy to make. Seriously. I adjusted the recipe by using brown rice flour instead of all purpose flour to give it more nourishment. We ate it with an arugula salad on the side. The best part about it was the my kids LOVED it. I ate leftovers for lunch the next day. I highly suggest you try this out.

What a great way to impress your friends without the stress! My red onions weren’t very vibrant and didn’t look as lovely as they did in the cookbook, but it was still a beautiful and delicious cake.

cauliflower cake-2Cauliflower Cake
Adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

 

1 medium cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken/cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
1 large red onion
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
7 large eggs
1/2 cup basil, chopped
1 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
1.5 cups grated parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper
Melted unsalted butter, for greasing pan
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place cauliflower florets in a pot with a teaspoon of salt, cover them with water and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until quite soft. Drain and let sit in the colander to dry.

Cut 4 round slices, each 1/4 in thick, off one of the onion and set aside. Coarsely chop the remainder of your onion and place in a small saucepan with olive oil and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer cooked onion to a large bowl, add the eggs, basil, whisk well, and then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, Parmesan, 1 tsp salt, and a healthy pinch of black pepper. Whisk until smooth before adding the cauliflower. Stir gentry, trying not to break up the florets.

Spray the inside of a 9 1/2-inch round springform pan with cooking spray or brush with some of the melted butter. Then line the bottom and sides parchment paper. (Spraying/buttering the pan first will help the parchment stick to the pan.) Mix together the sesame seeds and toss them around in the pan so that they stick to the sides. Pour in the cauliflower batter, arrange the reserved onion rings on top (in any fashion you like) and bake cake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set.

 

 

Tomato Tart With Fresh Herbs & Garlic

Herb Tomato Tart

So, the inspiration to make this tomato tart came about because I found some cherry tomatoes that were a fantastically vibrant mix of red, zebra, orange, and yellow.

I splurged and bought the DuFour puff pastry from Whole Foods. If I’m going indulge in a dinner that is full of butter, I’m going to do it right.

Ahhh, well. The list of ingredients was pretty simple. But after skimming the recipe when it was “go time”, I thought the tart might be doomed thanks to missing ingredients and lack of time. I had 1 hour to make something that was supposed to take me 2 hours to prep and cook.

I didn’t really read the instructions in advance to see that I need to roast a head of garlic for 45 minutes. NOT TO MENTION that I had assumed I had garlic when I bought the other ingredients, only to find some random cloves hanging out in drawer.

While I was par-cooking the puff pastry in the oven, I went to work on the garlic dilemma.

First attempt – “quick roasted garlic”. This involved cutting off the tops and putting them in a bowl with oil and water, covering them, and microwaving them for a couple of minutes. Outcome – awful. dry. overcooked.

Second attempt – I excitedly realized that I had bought one of those packs of frozen cubes of garlic for the random moment that I might be out of garlic. So I defrosted 4 cubes in the microwave with some water and then added some oil, covered the pyrex bowl with foil, and let it “roast” in the oven for 15 minutes at the tail end of the time the puff pastry was cooking. Outcome –  It worked. I’m sure roasting a full head of garlic would be so much better but this did the job…and in the end shaved 45 minutes off the cooking time since I didn’t roast a head of garlic first.

I didn’t have pie weights or enough dried beans to make a difference, so I used rice to weigh down the puff pastry. It “semi” did the job. I had to keep poking the pastry with a fork to pop bubbles during the second phase of baking it with the garlic and parm, but once I covered it with the tomatoes, it didn’t really matter anyway.

The recipe gave me the option of capers or anchovies. I didn’t have capers but did have anchovies. I must say, I loved what the anchovies did here. Also, I didn’t have fresh oregano so I left it out and used just the parsley and chives.

The final product was not only beautiful, but also extremely delicious with amazing layers of flavor. Final advice, read the recipe all the way through. If anything, hopefully this shows you that you can make almost any recipe your own with some tweaks and adaptability (and a glass of wine) can make your time in the kitchen less stressful and more fun.

And here’s how it was SUPPOSED to go down…

Herb Tomato TartHerbed Tomato and Roasted Garlic Tart
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Saveur

Serves 6 (lunch-sized portion) to 8 (appetizer-sized portion). You could double this recipe and bake it in a 13″x18″ rimmed pan.

1 small head garlic or cubed frozen garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus an extra drizzle for the garlic
1 9″x13″ sheet frozen puffed pastry*, thawed in fridge for several hours
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
2 finely chopped anchovies or 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 pounds (about 4 cups) small cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

Roast garlic: Heat oven to 350°F. Cut head of garlic in half crosswise; drizzle cut ends with a few drops of olive oil, then wrap in tightly foil and bake, directly on oven rack, for 45 minutes, until garlic cloves are completely soft. Set aside. OR defrost 4 frozen garlic cubes in the microwave with a little oil and water. Then place in small oven safe bowl and cover with foil. Roast in oven at same time as pie crust for 15 minutes.

Prepare crust: Increase oven temperature to 375°F. 9″x13″-inch baking sheet (or quarter-sheet pan) with parchment paper. Fit pastry sheet into pan, pressing it against the bottom and sides. Trim pastry hanging over sides of pan, if there is any. Prick bottom of pastry all over with a fork. Lay parchment paper over crust and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or dried. Bake until edges of tart are golden, 25 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment. If any parts have bubbled up, poke them with a knife point and they should deflate.

Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out into a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Spread over baked par-baked crust with a knife, as if you were buttering bread. Sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper. Return to oven bake until tart shell is golden all over, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside on a cooling rack.

Heat broiler. In a large bowl, mix tomatoes, anchovies, olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and broil, shaking pan once or twice, until tomatoes are blistered and have begun to release their juices, 12 to 14 minutes.

Increase oven heat to 425°F. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomato mixture to the prepared tart shell; distribute tomatoes evenly, in one layer. Sprinkle with the three herbs. Return the tart to the oven and bake it until hot, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting into it.

Tart can be served hot or closer to room temperature. Store leftovers in fridge. Reheat in 325°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.