Vegetable cakes are a unique, creative addition to the dinner table. These cauliflower cakes have creamy interiors, crunchy browned exteriors, and complex flavors. To ensure that the flavor of the cauliflower didn’t get lost and to drive off excess moisture that would make our cakes fall apart, we cut the cauliflower into florets and roasted them until they were well browned and tender. Tossing the florets with warm spices like turmeric, coriander, and ground ginger gave the cakes an aromatic backbone. Next we needed a binder to hold the shaped cakes together. Egg and flour are standard additions, but we also added some goat cheese to provide extra binding, creaminess, and tangy flavor. Though these cakes held together, they were very soft and tricky to flip in the pan. Refrigerating the cakes for 30 minutes before cooking them proved to be the best solution. The chilled cakes transferred from baking sheet to skillet without a problem and were much sturdier when it came time to flip them.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 head cauliflower, 2 pounds, cut into 1‑inch florets
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon or lime zest, plus lemon or lime wedges for serving
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- For the yogurt-herb sauce: Whisk yogurt, cilantro, mint, and garlic together in bowl until combined and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 30 minutes.
- For the cauliflower cakes: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon oil, turmeric, coriander, salt, ginger, and pepper. Transfer to aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet and spread into single layer. Roast until florets are well browned and tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to large bowl.
- Line clean rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Mash florets coarsely with potato masher. Stir in goat cheese, scallions, egg, garlic, and lemon zest until well combined. Sprinkle flour over cauliflower mixture and stir to incorporate. Using wet hands, divide mixture into 4 equal portions, pack gently into 3/4‑inch-thick cakes about 31/2 inches in diameter, and place on prepared sheet. Refrigerate cakes until chilled and firm, about 30 minutes.
- Line large plate with paper towels. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in 12‑inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Gently lay cakes in skillet and cook until deep golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Drain cakes briefly on prepared plate. Serve with yogurt sauce and lemon wedges.