Starchless Cauliflower, Goat Cheese and Almonds Bake

With a request to develop a “vegetarian, starchless bake”, the decision to use cauliflower as the main ingredient was quite obvious, as this vegetable’s texture when cooked is as close to that of potatoes.
In order to add color and different textures to the bake, while keeping preparation as uncomplicated as possible, I’ve added to it a mix of frozen vegetables, along with sliced almonds and two types of goat cheese. I then simply seasoned the mixture with freshly grated nutmeg and four peppers mix, and topped it with additional almonds and cheese, to create a tasty, crunchy topping. The result was a flavorful and aromatic bake that can be served on its own, as a light main course, or as a side dish. Try it and enjoy.

* Using frozen mixed vegetables makes for easier preparation. If you prefer to use fresh vegetables, steam them lightly before adding to the mixture.
* Due to the fact the bake contains no starches, a fairly long baking time is needed in order to stabilize it.
* If you can’t find wine soaked goat cheese, Pecorino or Parmesan cheeses can be used instead.
* The bake can be kept in the fridge, covered, for up to two days. To keep the crunchiness of the topping, make sure to reheat it in a toaster oven, not in the microwave.

Makes: 10
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

1 large head of cauliflower
½ cup water
3 L eggs
1 tsp salt
½ tsp each: freshly grated nutmeg, four peppers mix
2 cups frozen mix of carrots, peas and corn, thawed
½ cup sour cream
½ cup almond flakes
½ cup wine soaked goat cheese, finely grated (see notes)
4 oz (115 grams) fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
For the topping:
½ cup wine soaked goat cheese, finely grated (see notes)
½ cup almond flakes

1. Trim the cauliflower, wash and place in a large flat pot, in one layer. Add the water, cover and steam over high heat, for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Strain, if needed, and mash coarsely with a potato masher. Measure 4 cups and place in a large bowl.

2. Preheat the oven to 370F (188C). Line a 12” x 8” (20.5cm x 30cm) pan with baking paper.
3. Add the eggs, salt, nutmeg and peppers mix to the mashed cauliflower, and mix well. Add the frozen vegetables, sour cream, almond flakes, grated goat cheese and crumbled fresh goat cheese. Mix gently, so that the fresh goat cheese chunks will still be visible. Pour the mixture into the lined pan and level the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the grated goat cheese and almonds for the topping all over.

4. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until the bake is set and the topping is golden.

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