Cauliflower and broccoli pair well together, and I often use them in the same dish, many times in the form of fried patties. In the recipe here, I’ve decided to bake the mixture rather than fry it, and the result was very pleasing.
The mini bakes are simple to make and require few ingredients, yet they are full of flavor. The idea was to focus on the flavor of the cauliflower and broccoli, so I didn’t add too many ingredients or spices to them. Cooking the cauliflower and broccoli in milk enhanced their natural sweetness and made their texture extra creamy, while caramelized red onion added another layer of salty-sweet flavor and color. I thickened the mixture with semolina and eggs and baked it for a relatively long time, in a fairly hot oven, to form a caramelized crust, which gave a tasty contrast with the soft center.
The bakes can be served as a part of a brunch buffet or picnic, as a side dish, or as a great vegetarian sandwich filler. Try them and enjoy.
* Frozen cauliflower and broccoli can be used instead of fresh ones. Thaw and drain well before using.
* The bakes can keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for 4-5 days.
* To freeze, place them separated on a large tray before placing in freezer bags, and keep for up to a month. To keep their texture, reheat them in a toaster oven, not the microwave.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
1 cauliflower head
1 broccoli head
1 cup water
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 medium red onion, small diced
2 Tbs oil
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
1 tsp brown sugar
½ cup semolina flour
3 L eggs
1. With a sharp knife, remove the cauliflower and broccoli stalk and cut into small florets. Place in a large pot, and add the water, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to an almost boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, mixing occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the cauliflower and broccoli are very soft and most of the liquids evaporated. Mash with a potato masher to a fairly coarse mixture. Add the semolina, mix well and let cool to room temperature.
2. Mix the diced onion with the oil, salt and pepper, in a medium pan. Sauté over medium-high heat, until the onion starts to soften. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the sugar and mix well. Keep cooking for a few more minutes, until the onion caramelizes. Let cool a bit, then add to the pot. Mix, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
3. Preheat the oven to 395F (200C). Line two muffin pans with 24 paper baking cups.
4. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, add to the pot and mix well. Divide the mixture between the paper cups.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the bakes get deep golden color. Let cool for 2-3 minutes, in the pan, before serving.
If not serving immediately, transfer to a rack to cool completely before refrigerating or freezing (see notes).