Cauliflower Parmesan Cake with Yogurt/Feta Topping
This recipe is smashingly good!
This week, while my husband with his endless energy, was presenting at the CBI conference on Risk-based Monitoring, in Philly, I was enjoying “Norma”** at the Metropolitan Opera and experimenting with getting this recipe right. Don’t get me wrong, I work 10 to 7 five days a week, but love my hobby of trying to keep us from getting too fat and flabby, by putting together healthy fresh ingredients that taste good and usually are fairly low in calories. Then, we share these recipes with readers in the weekly newsletter, ON TARGET.
1 large red onion, peeled
7 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
10 medium or 8 large eggs
Handful fresh basil, chopped
Scant 1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups finely grated parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil, for greasing pan
2 Tablespoons black sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Break, don’t cut, cauliflower into medium florets. Steam florets, until soft. Strain and let dry in a colander for a few minutes so they cool.
Prepare the batter. Cut red onion in half and cut a few thin rings off the end of one side; set them aside. Coarsely chop the remainder of onion. Heat all olive oil in a saucepan, and sauté the chopped red onion and rosemary together until soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Whisk eggs and olive oil and onion mixture together. Stir in basil. Whisk almond flour, baking powder, turmeric, cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and pinch black pepper together in a separate bowl and add to egg mixture, whisking to remove lumps. Stir in cauliflower gently, so most pieces remain intact.
Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with parchment paper, or just oil the sides. Put the sesame seeds in the pan and toss them around so that they stick to the sides. Pour in the cauliflower batter, arrange the reserved onion rings on top and bake cake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set. Shake it to be sure it’s not wiggly. If it wiggles, bake a little longer, but keep your eye on it, so it doesn’t burn.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Before you serve the cake, be sure to run a knife around the pan, to loosen it, before removing the springform band.
1 pint plain Greek yogurt
6 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup, fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, called arils, for garnish
Pinch salt (optional)
Pinch black pepper (or grind to your taste)
Directions For Topping
Into a food processer, (or whisk it by hand) add the Greek yogurt, (scrape it all out), the Feta, salt (optional), black pepper. Leaving some of the chopped mint leaves out, for garnish, add the rest to the food processer. Now, blend everything until the sauce is smooth. As you cut and serve the cake, add a dollop of the topping, then sprinkle with mint leaves and pomegranate arils.
A slice without the Yogurt/Feta topping, but more delicious with it.
I’m really pleased; this recipe turned out this well! In fact, it’s so-o good, that I’m going to recommend that you have it on a chilly evening, in front of a fireplace (if you have one) or some cozy place in your home, with this warm (just out of the oven) cauliflower parmesan cake, with topping, as the main feature of your meal. Serve it with chilled white sauvignon blanc or your favorite red wine. And plan to have more than one piece. If this seems too bare bones, then make a simple tossed salad. Add a fresh fruit plate, along with some dates and figs, and you will be happy and satisfied.
Naturally, this scrumptious cake would be good as a superb appetizer, a wonderful lunch and at a brunch buffet, it would be the star attraction. Speaking of star attractions, as I mentioned above, I saw “Norma” at the MetOpera and want to share my favorite aria from it, “Casta Diva,” sung by the great American soprano, Renée Fleming, in a matchless performance (I have heard countless versions by others). The new young soprano in town, Angela Mead, is singing this week and next; and received many ovations for her beautiful singing, but I still say that Renée Fleming’s version is the most gorgeous and memorable. Listen to the delicate perfect trills, at the end. Most cannot get that exquisite sound.
Bellini, Norma, Casta Diva by Renée Fleming
Just out of the oven
Bon Appetit wherever you are!