Smitten Kitchen’s Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake

It’s spring, dammit! And I should be cooking peas or artichokes or asparagus. Yet I seem to be in a cauliflower mood. On Sunday I made Alice Waters’ Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts, and Ricotta Salata, which I’ll write about soon. And last week, I cooked Smitten Kitchen’s Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake, a recipe that Deb, the cook and writer behind the lovely blog, adapted from one by the London-based chef, Yotam Ottolenghi.

With twelve eggs (I actually used six and a cup of egg whites), the cauliflower cake is something like an omelet or quiche. But the addition of flour and baking powder pushes the dish into the cake — or, at least, a bready, cake-like — category.

“I’m not sure what this is supposed to taste like,” said The Professor, a bit flummoxed by the dish and unsure how to evaluate it.

Nevertheless, he finished his slice and served himself another. (He even warmed one up for lunch the following day.)

It is a satisfying entree, and its combination of flavors — cauliflower and onion, turmeric and a generous amount of parmesan cheese — is anything but predictable. Ultimately, The Professor decided it was tasty though a bit dry. Next time I’ll stick to the dozen eggs that the recipe called for. I’ll also add more cauliflower, which will make the cake more moist as well. Next time, The Professor will be in grading mode!

You can find Deb’s version of the recipe here. In addition to fiddling with the number of eggs, I also used regular sesame seeds rather than black ones because that’s what I had on hand.

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