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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC


Broccoli Upside-Down Cake


Who says a cake has to be sweet? This savory upside-down cake is festive, delicious, and large enough to feed a crowd. It is wrapped in juicy slabs of roasted tomatoes and filled with strata of roasted cherry tomatoes and mini peppers, scented with herbs. The interior is made from broccoli florets, seasoned with aromatics and herbs baked in a light whole grain batter. 


Prep time 1 hour

Bake time: about 2 hours 30 minutes

Serves 12 to 15



1 4-quart ovenproof glass bowl


3 pounds broccoli florets, steamed until tender-crisp

2 medium red onions, cut in a medium dice

1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds Campari tomatoes or similar variety, cut in half and roasted, juices reserved to deglaze pan

2 pounds cherry tomatoes, cut in half and roasted

2 tablespoons herbes de Provence or Italian herb blend

3 pounds mini peppers, cored and roasted

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon no-sodium baking powder

2 tablespoons shiro miso, or to taste

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk


  • Cut larger broccoli florets so make all the florets similar in size so that they will cook evenly. Steam until tender but still slightly crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes. As soon as they are done, shock the florets in an ice-water bath to halt cooking and brighten their color. Drain them well.
  • Toss the florets in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place the Campari and cherry tomatoes cut side up on one sheet. Sprinkle the tomatoes with dry herbs. Roast for about 30 minutes or until they have softened, and their cut edges have lightly browned and crisped. Transfer each tomato type into separate lidded storage containers. As the roasted tomatoes cool, they will release sweet and delicious juices. Reserve the juice to deglaze the skillet in Step 9.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 375°F.
  • Place the cored mini peppers on the other lined cookie sheet. Roast them for about 30 minutes or until peppers have collapsed and become lightly toasted. When cool, pulse them in a food processor one or twice or use a mezzaluna to chop them into ½ -inch pieces.
  • Lower the oven temp to 350°F.
  • Heat a stainless skillet for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the onion and dry thyme leaves and sauté them dry for several minutes, or until the onion releases its liquid and begins to caramelize and darken the pan.
  • Deglaze the skillet with a few tablespoons of the reserved roasted tomato juices, scraping up the onion sugars from the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in the garlic and sauté for another few minutes or until the aromatics are soft and fragrant. Remove from the heat.
  • In a high-speed blender combine the white whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder, miso paste, and almond milk. Grind black pepper to taste into the blender bowl.  Run the blender at high speed for a minute to make a smooth batter.
  • Pour the batter into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sautéed onion mix. Stir in 6 cups of the chopped steamed broccoli, stirring well to coat the broccoli with batter. Taste and correct seasonings as you like.
  • Line a 4-quart overproof glass bowl with parchment, so that the parchment extends beyond the bowl’s lip by a few inches. Starting in the center of the base of the lined bowl, place a roasted half of a Campari tomato, cut side facing up. Encircle it with other roasted halves of Campari tomatoes, lining the bowl with tomatoes until the bottom and sides of the bowl are covered up the sides of the bowl as far as gravity permits.
  • The curvature of your baking bowl will dictate how much batter you should add between layers if you want the layers to be evenly spaced. As a general guideline, however, pour about a third of the batter into the bowl. Spread on a layer of the roasted cherry tomatoes. Follow with about another third of the batter. Spread on a layer of the chopped roasted peppers. Lastly, pour in the remaining batter. Bake on the middle rack of your oven.
  • Check the cake after 2 hours of baking. If the surface has darkened, cover it lightly with a loose piece of parchment. The cake is ready when its internal temperature reads between 200° to 210°F. Test it after an additional 30 minutes by inserting a thermometer in the center of the cake.
  • Remove the cake when it is ready, and lower the oven temperature to 150°F. When it has reached this temperature, insert your serving plates to warm.
  • Allow the cake to cool before plating. To speed up this process, place the bowl on a cooling rack and point a small fan directly at its side, rotating the cake periodically.
  • To remove the cake from the bowl, lift the cake by the parchment paper “tabs” and place it on the cutting board. Run a butter knife along the perimeter to free any congealed tomatoes from the paper. Then gently peel back the parchment on all sides. Center your serving plate over the cake and hold it firmly both over the plate and under the cutting board. Flip it over. Finally, peel off the remaining parchment from the cake’s dome. Use a sharp knife to slice the cake and a pie server to remove each piece. If the cake is adequately baked, it will slice cleanly.
  • Serve warm on heated plates.


Broccoli Upside-Down Cake

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