3 Wild ways with cauliflower

3 Wild Ways with a Cauliflower

Cauliflower is just so very popular at the moment you just HAVE to know how best to cook it.  It’s not always the cheapest vegetable, but if you can’t get it fresh, I sometimes use the frozen cauliflower and it’s not too bad.

 

3 Wild Ways with Cauliflower…

 

  1. Roasting

This is the easiest and most versatile way, and you can cook another meal in the oven at the same time if you’ve spent the money pre-heating.  I love to cook two meals if I’ve got the oven on, I feel like I’m saving on electricity.

 

I like to make a ‘culinary spray tan’ out of my favourite spice ever, Ras el Hanout.  You could also use curry paste or a curry powder of your choice.

 

I start by sprinkling about  2 tablespoons of the spice  on to the whole trimmed cauliflower, or if you’re in a hurry cut down into smaller florets.  I then drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and then shake to coat or rub in with my hand.

 

Pop your spray tanned cauliflower into a swearword hot oven of 22o c for about 8-12 minutes if small florets, or at 180c for about 25 minutes if you’re roasting whole.

 

Once golden and fragrant and delicious, remove from the oven and serve as part of another meal or as the main course.  Garnish with chopped dates, pistachios and fresh mint, or some gorgeous dukkah.

  1. Pan Fry or BBQ

This method is really only efficient for about two people.  Slice the cauliflower into thick 2-3 cm slices,  season with a culinary spray tan (spices and oil) and then season with salt and pepper.

 

Grease and heat a large frying pan with 30ml oil and then place cauliflower slices down in the pan.  Only turn when the first side is gloriously brown, then do the same to the second side. They should be brown and sealed on the outside, absolutely fine to have these nice and firm.

 

If you’re doing this on the BBQ, it’s pretty much the same way – just make sure it’s pre-heated and very hot, and ensure both sides are brown.  Definitely use thicker slices on the BBQ as they will become fragile when cooked. They look amazing with stylish BBQ griddle marks on the surface, which make them great for burger bun replacements or as part of a stylish veg stack. Always cook hot and never stew your cauliflower steaks, brown is best.

 

  1. Mashed

If you’re tiring of potato mash, try cauliflower mash!  If you’re on a budget add a tin or two of chick peas or butterbeans with the cauliflower to bulk this mash up.  Simply cook the cauliflower and beans with a little stock, garlic, cream and seasoning until soft, then use a stick blender to whizz into a mash.  Season to taste and if it’s too thick just add some water or more cream.

 

Perfect as a base puree or mash to many mains, especially spiced with fragrant spices like ras el hanout.  Also great in traditional dips like a twist on the humble hummus. . If you don’t particularly like the colour, you can give this a makeover by adding turmeric, ras el hanout or curry powder flavour to brighten the cauliflower up.  I always garnish with freshly chopped herbs, edible petals and roasted pistachios to pop the colour a bit!  Needs to be cooked first of course, so a great idea for leftover cooked cauliflower.

Chef Mel