Cauliflower and Pear Bake (4-6)

A recipe from Israel to serve as a main with salad or to accompany roasts or kebabs. In 1980 I spent four months volunteering on Kibbutz Eynat in Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv. I mostly worked in the restaurant ( three shifts…) or bakery( nights) but they also grew cotton besides the runway at Tel Aviv airport. Volunteers were not meant to work there but we did, and it was my favourite job as we completed work by late morning leaving the rest of the day free. It involved a 5 am start and drive to the airport , then after a couple of hours we would take a breakfast break. We would finish by 11am because after that it was to too hot. Back to the kibbutz for lunch and an afternoon spent lounging by the pool.

The recipe is from ” Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East” by Arto Der Haroutunian.

Cauliflower and Pear Bake (4-6)
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Cauliflower and Pear Bake (4-6)
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  1. Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, chop into florets and wash. Drop them into a large pan of boiling water. After 10 minutes, add the pear slices and cook until just tender.
  2. Drain and put the cauliflower, pears, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and breadcrumbs into a liquidiser and blend.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and lightly grease a large baking dish. Pour a quarter of the cauliflower mixture into the dish. Cover with half of the red pepper and olive slices.
  4. Now pour in another quarter of the cauliflower mixture and cover it with the mushrooms and onion.Repeat a cauliflower layer and then add the remaining red pepper and olive slices. Top with the remaining cauliflower.
  5. Bake for 30–45 minutes until the top is golden. Finally, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
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