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Wednesday
Mar062019

Roasted broccoli chilli and ricotta cake

By Helen Hoh - Ottolenghi's favourite baker. She imagined this recipe by combining two favourite dishes - Ottolenghi's roasted broccoli with garlic and chilli, and the zucchini slice.
This is becoming one of my favourite dinner or lunch party additions now. I can have a wonderful vegetarian dish ready for the feast, that I can prepare in advance, can serve room temperature if the oven is taken or warm easily beforehand.
It is full of flavour, from the roasting of the broccoli to the beautifully infused chilli and garlic olive oil. I will possibly add more chill next time and give it even more kick... up to you!

Pictured: Roasted broccoli chilli and ricotta cake

300g broccoli, florets and stems cut into 2-3cm pieces
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2½ tsp sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 long, mild red chillies, thinly sliced – or 2 small chillies seeds removed
1 small onion, peeled and grated
1 lemon, zested
4 eggs, lightly beaten
40g parmesan, plus 1 tbsp extra for sprinkling, finely grated
200g ricotta cheese
120g self-raising flour
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220 °C/200 °C fan-forced. 
Line the base of a 20cm round springform cake tin with baking paper – the size is important for the right consistency and cooking times.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and blanch the broccoli for 1 minute. 
Drain the broccoli and transfer to a large oven tray and toss with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of salt flakes and some freshly milled black pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. 
Reduce the oven temperature to 200 °C/180 °C fan-forced.
While the broccoli is roasting, pour the 100ml olive oil intp a small saucepan, add the garlic and most of the sliced chillies, then place over low heat to infuse – watch this carefully as you do not want to burn the garlic as it goes bitter and you will need to start this again. When the garlic just begins to colour, from 5 to 10 minutes, remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. 
The garlic will continue to cook off the stove, remove it from heat as soon as it colours a littl. Once cool, strain the oil and discard the garlic and chilli.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the roasted broccoli, grated onion, and lemon zest. 
Add the eggs, the cooled infused olive oil and the parmesan.
Crumble over the ricotta cheese and season with 1½ tsp of sea salt flakes. Add the flour and gently fold until just combined.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface. 
Sprinkle over the 1 tbsp extra parmesan and the remaining sliced chillies.
Place into the oven for 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before releasing from the cake tin onto a serving plate.
The cake is best served warm or at room temperature. 
It can also be wrapped in foil and refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can let it come back to room temperature or warm in a moderate oven for 20 minutes or so.

Serves 6