Autumn season is casserole season. And one of those typical autumn vegetables are cauliflower. Here we present you a savory cauliflower cake. It is topped with an autumn ratatouille with bell peppers, mushrooms and bacon strips. Finally we gratinate our cauliflower cake with ground cheddar. Not difficult at all, and absolutely delicious. And according to my parents it needs the company of a good glass of red wine.
How to make this savory cauliflower cake?
As indicated in the introduction, we make this savory cauliflower cake in several steps. First we boil the cauliflower and then blind bake it into a kind of cake. In the meantime, we make the ratatouille with the autumn vegetables. We will then top the cake with this. Finally, we finish the cake with ground cheddar, which we then let gratinate in the oven.
The making of the cauliflower cake
For this cauliflower cake we use one cauliflower. Normally you have between 500 and 700 grams of cauliflower florets. And that is also the first step: we are going to cut away the florets from the cauliflower. We don't need the leaves and the thick stem.
Boil or steam those cauliflower florets for 10 minutes until they are done. Then take them out of the water and let them drain well. Next we mash the florets just like we mash potatoes. You can do this manually or with the food processor.
Once the cauliflower is pureed, we add the flour and nutmeg. Mix everything together well. Then we add the eggs. Now mix until you have a consistent dough. You can add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
Grease an oven dish with some olive oil. In the meantime, the oven may be preheated to 180°C. Now transfer the dough into the baking dish and bake the cake in the oven for 25 minutes. Meanwhile we can make the ratatouille.
The autumn vegetable ratatouille
Cutting the vegetables
While the cake is baking we can prepare and make the ratatouille. And for that we start with a bit of cutting and carving.
We halve the onion and then remove the hard skin. Then we cut them into rings. We also remove the skin from the garlic and then finely chop it.
After that we peel the carrots and remove the ends. We cut the peeled carrot lengthwise into four parts. After that we cut them into small pieces.
We first remove the top with the stem and the bottom from the bell peppers. Then we can easily cut out the core. We also remove the stem from the top. We now cut the pepper into small pieces of approximately one by one centimeter. I used a red, a yellow and a green pepper. This brings a little more color to autumn, the season in which you encounter green, yellow and red at the same time in the forests. But that is up to your own taste of course.
And finally we have the mushrooms. We halve them and then cut them into fine slices.
the making of the ratatouille
Now heat a tablespoon of oil in the wok or a large pan/pot. We will then briefly fry the onion and garlic in it. After a minute, the carrots can also be added. Stir everything well.
A few minutes later, they get company of the bacon strips. Let them also fry in the wok for two to three minutes. Keep stirring everything together well.
Finally, the bell peppers and mushrooms may also join the wok. Place the lid on and let the ratatouille cook for about ten minutes. Stir regularly. And add additional seasoning: tomato puree, thyme leaves (or dried thyme), pepper, and possibly a little salt. The bacon already contains a lot of salt, so you shouldn't overdo it. If you want, you can also add paprika powder or other spices to taste.
The final steps to make it a savory cauliflower cake
Meanwhile, the cauliflower cake that we baked blind will also be ready. We take it out of the oven. Now turn on the grill function at 200°C to gratinate the cheddar later on.
We now spoon the ratatouille over the blind-baked cauliflower cake. We generously spread the ground cheddar over it. Now the casserole can be placed back in the oven for a final round of five minutes. The cheese will melt and gratinate. It gives a wonderful taste to the ratatouille and the cauliflower cake.
Cauliflower is one of the most popular vegetables during autumn and winter. The most classic recipe is probably to cook it with a white sauce. But you can make many other surprising recipes with them:
- White orange mashed cauliflower gratin.
- Parmesan roasted cauliflower recipe (Crazy for crust).
- Creamy cauliflower soup with bacon (Southern living).
- Cauliflower Polonaise (Falstaff).
- Kung Pao cauliflower stir fry (Chatelaine).
As we said in the beginning of the article: autumn season is casserole season. And we have lots of surprising casserole recipes! Here are some of our own favorites:
- Oven dish with chicory and leek.
- Salsiccia casserole with fennel ratatouille.
- Pork medaillons wrapped in farm ham in a creamy curry sauce.
- Pangasius in a tomato saffron sauce.
- Delicious seafood fricassee.
If you speak Dutch, you can find the Dutch version of this recipe on gerechtenweb.blog.