It’s easy to see from this little blog how greatly my family inspires me in the kitchen. You’ll now see a new menu item called “in the kitchen with…” where I stalk my family members and play paparazzi while we make and bake. Sister is up first!
Sister is vegetarian. She makes things like black bean burgers and ratatouille and soup. Sister likes to eat peaches and berries and parmesan cheese. And she’s an excellent cook! It not only comes natural to Sister, she loves it. We are kitchen sisters.
Since Sister lives in Halifax, I don’t get to see her very often. So we do a lot of FaceTime (or as my Dad calls it: AppleTalk) and usually the topic of food comes up. It’s usually something like, “so what did you have for dinner tonight?”, and then that spirals into a 40 minute conversation about a new recipe or new cookbook. And we love us some Ottolenghi.
When Bonnie Stern tells Canada her top three favourite recipes of 2014, I listen. I really like Bonnie Stern’s articles. I like her writing; I like her recipes. The combo of Bonnie Stern’s confidence and an Ottolenghi recipe from his new Plenty More was too tempting for Sister and I to resist.
The word cake threw me off in this recipe. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but with eggs, cheese, onions, and herbs, it would be nearly possible to go wrong. I found the result to be more like a quiche or frittata, and less cake-like. Totally delicious. With a bright salad, this cake would be a lovely dinner. I would also proudly serve it as a brunch dish. You could add more or different herbs. Part of me wants to put roasted potatoes at the bottom of the pan. It’s lovely as it’s written as well.
Sister grew up not liking eggs. Crazy, right? She’s over that, thankfully, and this hit the spot for both of us. It’s creamy and balanced. There’s an earthy, salty element, with crunch from the sesame seeds. Sister and I had a piece just warm from the oven. Marcus almost ate the whole thing when I took it home, and the last piece I ate cold from the fridge. It’s a keeper! (both Sister and the cake…)
1 small cauliflower
1 red onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1/2 chopped basil
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 cups grated cheese, such as a combination of parmesan, cheddar, and smoked cheddar
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cut florets off of the cauliflower, add 1 tsp salt, and cover with water. Simmer until the florets are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Drain well.
With the onion, cut four round thin slices off of one end. Break apart the onion layers and set aside. Dice the remaining onion, then sauté the onions with the rosemary in the olive oil. Transfer the onions and rosemary to a large bowl and cool. Add the basil and beat in the eggs.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, turmeric, and 1 tsp salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg bowl, then stir in the cheese and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Stir in cauliflower.
With parchment paper, line bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Spray the bottom of the pan with nonstick spray, then give another spray over the parchment. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and shake around the bottom and sides of the pan so the seeds spread out. Pour in the cauliflower mixture. Smooth out the top then arrange the reserved onion rings on top.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.