Green tomato, broccoli & cornmeal upside-down cake
This is variation of the broccoli/cornmeal upside-down cake as invented by Clothilde, and enthusiastically adopted by so many other food-bloggers. I first tried it last year, with huge success, and keep it in my current repertoire. It's healthy, light but tasty and portable. In fact, next time I might try making it in a muffin-tray, so I can take individual portions to work for a snack.
This recipe certainly is fiddle-proof. I made a few modifications this time, which haven't seemed to to ruin the recipe. I didn't have any yoghurt, so I just used milk with a little extra cottage cheese. Incidentally, did you know that you can make your own cottage cheese by adding 2 teaspoons of vinegar to a pan of milk over heat? I learnt that reading Lynn's blog, when she was making this very recipe too!
Most obviously, I used this as a vehicle to use up some more of my copious amounts of green tomatoes, and I think it worked well. I've been constantly surprised how not awful unripe green tomatoes taste. In fact, they're downright tasty! I lined the cake tin with these first, before adding the broccoli, and some choppsed spring onions I had malingering in the vegetable crisper (definitely no longer crisp). I decided to add a layer of grated cheddar cheese before adding the batter....cheese = yum.
With the batter, I decided to use up the rest of a tub of black olive tapenade, and added it to the wet ingedients, which gives a nice flavour to the cakey part. So, you see, it seems you can do practically anything to this recipe, and it still works out great!
Read on for the recipe:
Broccoli and Cornmeal Upside Down Cake
This is taken from Chocolate & Zucchini, as Clothide's Master Recipe (the urtext!). As demonstrated, you can alter lots of things with it!
-One head of broccoli
- 200 g (3/4 C) cottage cheese
- 125 g (1/2 C) plain yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 C yellow cornmeal (polenta)
- 1/2 C whole wheat or all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- a handful of brown raisins
- a handful of walnuts, toasted and chopped
- salt, pepper
(Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as a starter or side.)
Wash the broccoli and cut it into florets. Bring some salted water to a boil in a large saucepan, add in the broccoli and let simmer for 8 minutes, until cooked but not limp. (This is my favored cooking method for broccoli, but you can steam it if you prefer.) Drain and run cold water on it to stop the cooking. Set aside in a colander to drain thoroughly while you take the next steps.
Preheat the oven to 180°F (360°F). Grease a 20 cm (8-inch) cake pan, unless it's nonstick.
In a medium mixing-bowl, whisk together the cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs and oil, and sprinkle on salt and pepper. In another medium mixing-bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour and baking powder. Fold the liquid mixture into the dry mixture until just combined (the batter will be thick). Do not overmix, it's fine if it's still a little lumpy.
Arrange the cooked broccoli at the bottom of the cake pan. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle on the walnuts and raisins. Pour the batter evenly over the broccoli, and smooth it out a bit with a spatula.
Put into the oven to bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden and crispy. Let rest on the counter for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen the cornmeal crust, cover the pan with a serving plate, and flip quickly (protect your hands with a kitchen towel of course) so the cake lands, broccoli-side up, on the plate.
Cut in wedges, preferably with caution and a sharp knife, so as not to smoosh the broccoli. Serve warm, at room-temperature or cold. Reheat leftovers for ten minutes in the oven if you wish to revive the crispiness of the crust.