I was at Whole Foods the other day, starved and tempted by all of the goodness surrounding me. I snagged a slice of what was called ‘Cauliflower Pie’ and dug in while I pushed my cart to the car (yes, that starving). It was decent, but it was missing something. It was a little bland, tasting exactly like something that was made catering style for the masses. Being the food nerd I am I went home and searched my favourite vegetarian cookbooks for a similar dish.
Of course, Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More did not disappoint. All of Ottolenghi’s books are filled with incredible vegetarian dishes that are approachable yet have deep flavours and interesting textures. I quickly added the ingredients to my grocery list and planned when I would create this dish to be enjoyed by other people and not just me, though I know I wouldn’t have a tough time getting through it alone.
The depth of flavour in this dish comes from the mix of interesting flavours as it would be typical enough to combine both parmesan and rosemary, but Ottolenghi adds Nigella seeds (or black caraway) and sesame seeds which brings out a nice and surprising Middle Eastern vibe. If you can’t find Nigella seeds, cumin seeds are a good alternative.
I couldn’t find my springform cake pan so instead I lined one of my deeper pans with parchment and it was just fine. Alternatively, you can use a square brownie pan.
1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into 1 1/4-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 medium red onion, peeled (6 ounces)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
7 large eggs
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Parmesan or another aged cheese
Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (also known as black caraway)
Salt and black pepper
For full instructions on how to make this deliciousness (and wow your dinner guests) click HERE.
Or buy the book HERE.
Photos by Samantha Clarke