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This savory cake from Yotam Ottolenghi's newest cookbook, Plenty More, is as beautiful as it is unusual: cauliflower florets are suspended in a golden cake with green flecks of basil and a load of Parmesan cheese, with an orbit of onion rings on top and crunchy, aromatic seeds gilding the edges.
And, as with most of Ottolenghi's out-of-the-box creations, it's just delicious. The cake is eggy with very little flour, just enough to take it out of the running for being a frittata, really. It's strewn throughout with rosemary-scented onions that are somewhere between being confit and fried (cooked in oil over medium heat for 10 minutes). The nigella and sesame seeds that line the sides are not just for show—they lend crunch as well as a nutty, spicy flavor that actually adds a lot of character to the cake. The aroma of the toasty cake with the cheese, basil, and onion is decidedly pizza-like and incredibly appetizing. Then you bite into it, and your teeth slip through a sweet chunk of cauliflower, and you're reminded why Ottolenghi's books have cult followings.
Why I picked this recipe: It's such an attractive cake, and you can't have too many options for easy brunch dishes.
What worked: Super tasty and comparatively simple to make.
What didn't: I think in my effort to "whisk until smooth," I over-mixed the batter a little—the cake was a touch tough.
Suggested tweaks: Go easy on the whisking. Also, when lining the base and sides of the pan with parchment, I found it helpful to brush the unlined pan with butter first to help the parchment adhere. As to serving, I'll let Ottolenghi speak for himself: "Serve this cake as a light supper alongside a makeshift salad of sliced cucumber, dill, mint, a little sugar, cider vinegar, and canola oil. Wrapped well, this cake will taste even better the next day."
With a million thanks to our friends at Ten Speed Press, we have 5 copies of Plenty More to give away this week.