An ode to CAULIFLOWER
I am smiling like this because I am holding a gigantic cauliflower and that makes me very happy. Whilst I do not agree that cauliflower should replace carbohydrates as that makes me sad and carbs are delicious, cauliflower is a trooper of a vegetable that can be prepared in many different ways.
Here are a few ideas:
(roasting cauliflower is definitely my favourite way to go)
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH CHICKPEAS & TAHINI
Ready in 40 mins
Serves 4-6 as a side
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
LEMON TAHINI DRESSING
1/4 cup tahini
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tsp honey
A pinch of salt, to taste
2 tbsp iced water (or more for desired consistency)
A can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
two handfuls rocket/arugula, rinsed and dried
Toasted peptias/sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 200ºC fan bake and line a large, shallow roasting dish with baking paper for easy clean up. You want the oven nice and hot so the cauliflower gets crispy.
Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and cumin. Using your hands, give them a good toss to make sure they are evenly coated in oil and seasoning.
Place cauliflower in prepared dish and spread out, making sure you leave enough space between florets so they don’t overcrowd and get soggy.
Roast until the cauliflower is crispy and delicious (about 30 minutes).
Remove from oven and transfer to a serving bowl.
To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until it is smooth and creamy. By using iced water, you aerate the tahini which makes it super creamy and fluffy. You can add as much or as little as you like, depending on how runny you would like it to be and what tahini you are using. Make sure you give the tahini jar a decent stir before using as it tends to seperate.
Place chickpeas and rocket in the serving bowl with the cauliflower and toss to combine. Drizzle with tahini lemon dressing and sprinkle with toasted seeds.
Indian food has a very soft place in my heart. I spent 4 months living in Jaipur when I was 18 and a wonderful woman, Santosh taught me many of her tricks. Whenever I’m feeling in need of some TLC I like to cook up a big pot of daal or aloo gobi. The smells and tastes always provide a source of comfort and safety. Like eating warm hugs.
Ready in 30 minutes
4 medium/large potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
1 cauliflower, base trimmed and cut into small florets
3 tbsp ghee/neutral oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
A pinch of hing/asafoetida
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 cup coarsely chopped coriander (stems and all)
2 chillies, thinly sliced
Luice of 1/2 a lime
Par boil potatoes in salted water, drain and set aside.
Place cauliflower in a large heatproof bowl with a decent pinch of salt.
Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Pour boiling water over the cauliflower and leave it to sit for 5 minutes to par-cook it.
Heat ghee in pan (that has a lid you can use later on) on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and hing and cook for a few seconds until mustard seeds begin to pop. Add onion and ginger and stir fry on medium low heat for 5 minutes until onion begins to soften. If it starts to catch, add a little water. Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander and salt and cook for a few minutes to release the aromas. You want your onions to be nice and soft, not crispy, or raw.
Add par boiled potatoes and cauliflower to the pan and mix thoroughly, ensuring the vegetables are covered in seasoning. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are cooked through and starting to get a little crispy on the outside.
Remove cover and add peas and chopped coriander and stir to combine/heat through. Season to taste.
Remove from heat, garnish with chopped chilli, and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
This is one of the best things ever to eat on a beautiful crisp autumn day, preferably with a glass of chablis and a fresh green salad with vinaigrette. The crisp acidity in the salad cuts through the creaminess of the cauliflower and the wine rounds out the entire experience. Heaven on earth. Don’t skip the breadcrumbs on top - it’s the best part. This is my mothers recipe, who got it from her mother, my grandmother Anne.
Ready in 45 mins
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup flour
A pinch of ground nutmeg
3 1/2 cups milk
2 cups grated tasty cheese
2 tsp dijon mustard
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 200ºC.
Place cauliflower in a pot with 1/2 cup water and cook until just tender. Drain.
To make the cheese sauce. Heat butter and flour in a saucepan. Once the butter has melted, stir over the heat for about 1 minute to cook the flour. Add nutmeg, then gradually whisk in the milk, stirring, until a thick smooth sauce is produced. Stir cheese and mustard into hot sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place cooked cauliflower in a casserole dish and cover with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and bake until bubbling and golden (about 30 minutes). Serve hot.