Cauliflower Sformato Recipe For Vegetarian Dinner Party

Cauliflower sformato with crispy kale and caramelised pine nuts

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Try our impressive vegetarian dinner party centre piece to impress your veggie friends and meat lovers alike...

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Think of a sformato as a little like a cross between a dense soufflé and a crustless quiche. The term literally means ‘unmoulded’ in Italian, which doesn’t sound half as romantic when you translate it. It can be made with all sorts of vegetables and makes a really impressive vegetarian main course.

Ingredients

  • cauliflower 1 large, leaves removed
  • olive oil
  • sage a small bunch, chopped
  • butter 80g
  • red onion 1, finely chopped
  • plain flour 80g
  • milk 800ml
  • parmesan (or veggie alternative) 50g, grated
  • english or dijon mustard 1 tsp
  • eggs 5 large
  • kale 100g, washed and shaken dry
  • pine nuts 75g
  • caster sugar 1 tsp, heaped
  • smoked paprika a generous pinch

Method

  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut the cauliflower into florets and add to a snug roasting tin in a single layer. Drizzle over 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, scatter on the sage and season, tossing to mix. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes – 1 hour, or until soft and lightly caramelised in places. Stir once or twice during cooking to make sure it roasts evenly.

  • Step 2

    While the cauli is roasting, melt the butter with 1 tbsp olive oil in large pan. Add the onion and cook gently for 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until it’s soft. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well over the heat for a minute. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking until you have a sauce. Bring to the boil, then bubble for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until thick and creamy. Stir through the parmesan and mustard and season. Take off the heat.

  • Step 3

    Once the cauli is roasted, cool for a few minutes, then chop into little pieces of about 1-2 cm. Leave the oven on. Beat the eggs into the cheese sauce, then gently stir through the chopped cauliflower. Pour into a buttered and lined 23cm springform cake tin and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. It should be set but with a touch of wobble to the centre.

  • Step 4

    Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then put a large dinner plate over the top and invert it onto the plate. Release the latch on the tin and remove the baking paper, then put a serving plate over and invert once more so it’s top-side up.

  • Step 5

    To make the garnishes, spread the kale out into a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil, tossing well to mix. Season, then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until crisp.

  • Step 6

    Add the pine nuts, sugar and smoked paprika to a small frying pan and put over a medium high heat. As the sugar begins to melt, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Cook for a few minutes until golden and caramelised, then cool a little on a plate.

  • Step 7

    Scatter the crispy kale and pine nuts over the sformato and cut into wedges to serve. It tastes great hot or at room temperature.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 760
  • Fat 53g
  • Saturates 21.1g
  • Carbs 38.6g
  • Sugars 17.2g
  • Fibre 4.8g
  • Protein 29.8g
  • Salt 1.2g
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