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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC


La Bomba

(Broccoli Upside-Down Cake)


Who says cakes have to be sweet? Here's a flavorful and nutritious broccoli upside-down cake, big enough to feed a crowd. It’s encased in juicy slabs of roasted tomatoes and has strata of roasted cherry tomatoes and mini peppers separately the “cake”, made from broccoli florets, seasoned with aromatics and herbs mixed into a light whole grain batter. 


Prep time 1 hour

Bake time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Serves 12 to 15



1 4-quart (3.8-liter) ovenproof glass bowl


3 pounds broccoli florets, steamed until tender-crisp

2 medium yellow or red onions, cut in a medium dice

1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Reserved liquid from roasted Campari tomatoes to deglaze pan

4 cloves garlic, minced

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

2 pounds cherry tomatoes, cut in half and roasted

2 tablespoons herbes de Provence or your favorite herb blend

3 pounds mini peppers, cored and roasted

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons shiro miso, or to taste

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper

2 ¼ cup unsweetened almond or other low-fat plant milk


Cut larger broccoli florets so all florets are similar in size. Steam until tender but still slightly crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes. Shock in an ice-water bath to halt cooking and brighten its color. Drain well. Toss in a food processor and pulse a few times to cut into bite-sized pieces.


Preheat oven to 400F. Line 2 large rimless cookie sheets with parchment. Place the Campari and cherry tomatoes cut side up and sprinkle with herbes de Provence. Roast for about 30 minutes or until they have softened and begun to caramelize on their cut edges. Transfer each tomato type into separate lidded storage containers. Reserve the juices released by the Campari tomatoes.


Lower the oven to 375F and roast the peppers on a cookie sheet lined with parchment for about 30 minutes or until peppers collapse and become lightly toasted. When cool, pulse in a food processor one or twice to cut with a mezzaluna into half-inch pieces.


Lower oven temp to 350F.


Heat a stainless skillet for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and sauté them dry for several minutes until the onion releases its liquid and begins to caramelize and darken the pan. Deglaze with a few tablespoons of the reserved juice from the roasted Campari tomatoes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for another few minutes or until the aromatics are soft and fragrant.


In a blender combine the white whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder, miso, pepper, and almond milk and run for a minute until smooth and uniform. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sautéed onion, garlic, and herbs. Add 6 cups of the steamed broccoli, stirring well to coat with the batter. Taste and correct seasonings as you like.


Line a large baking 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 will allow.


The shape of your bowl will dictate how much batter you should add between layers if you want the layers to be evenly spaced. In other words. But as a general guideline, pour about a third of the batter into the bowl. Spread on a layer of the roasted cherry tomatoes. Follow with another third of the batter. Spread on a layer of the chopped roasted peppers. Finally, add the remaining batter.


Bake on the middle rack of your oven at 350F.  Bake for about 2 hours and check to see if the surface of the cake has darkened beyond a golden toasting. If so, cover lightly with a loose piece of parchment. The cake will be done when its internal temperature reads between 200 to 210F. Test it at 2 hours 30 minutes by inserting a thermometer into its center.  


Allow to cool before attempting to plate it. To speed the process, place the bowl on a cooling rack and point a small fan at it, rotating the cake periodically.


To remove 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 holding it firmly both over the plate and under the cutting board, flip everything 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. It slices cleanly. Serve warm on heated plates.

La Bomba (Broccoli Upside-Down Cake)

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