A member of the Brassica family, cauliflower is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean regions. In addition to the white cauliflower, green and purple varieties are also available. Cauliflower florets are the part of the plant that most people eat, but the stem and leaves are edible too and are especially good for adding to soup stocks. Choose cauliflower with a clean white head that is free of blemishes and look for crisp, green outer leaves.
Because of its relatively bland flavour, cauliflower works very well with sauces and toppings.Classic cauliflower cheese is a favourite. Its great served on it's own with some crusty bread. Or as a side dish to roast pork or beef. You'll also find cauliflower is popular used in chutneys and piccalilli too.
There is also Romanesco cauliflower, it differs from the traditional cauliflower in that it is pale lime in colour rather than creamy white. It has a milder, sweeter flavour than the white variety and is best eaten when the heads are small. Romanesco cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked and used in the same way as white cauliflower try serving a mixture of the two for a change.
To prepare Cauliflower, trim the outer green leaves from the cauliflower and divide the head into large florets. Steam or boil the florets for 5- 10 minutes or until just tender, add lemon juice to the water to help keep the colour and a bay leaf to take away the cooking smell. To Blanch cauliflower for freezing, Separate heads into sprigs. Wash thoroughly. Drain well and blanch for 3-4 minutes.
A wonderful classic recipe, great served on it's own with crusty bread. As a side dish to roast pork or beef, or good with gammon steak and grilled tomatoes.
This recipe will serve four as a side dish, or two as a main dish.
1 Cauliflower, cut into florets.
100g Cheddar cheese, grated
25g plain flour
15 floz milk
1 tsp mustard
salt & black pepper
Boil the cauliflower in a little salted water for 10 -15 minutes until just tender. Drain, and put into a oven proof dish. Melt the butter in a saucepan, remove from heat and stir in the flour to form a smooth paste. Add the milk gradually, stirring all the time to make a nice smooth sauce. Add to the sauce - half the chesse, mustard, nutmeg, salt & pepper, and reheat gently until the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Pop the dish under a hot grill or into a oven, until bubbling and a lovely golden brown.
Tip ~ try adding a chopped chilli or grilled bacon to the dish for extra flavour.
CAULIFLOWER & POTATO GOBI
This is a Indian style curry side dish, which can also be made into a main dish- see tip below.
Small Cauiflower, cut into florets
500g Charlotte pototoes, cut into slices- (these are a salad potato, you can use any other small pototoes)
1 -2 green chillis, chopped
1tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2tsp ground coriander
Thumb sized piece of ginger - grated
300ml vegetable stock
Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds, and fry for 30 seconds, add the turmeric, coriander, ginger, and the chillies and fry for 1 minute. Next, stir in the pototoes and cauli florets, add the vegetable stock. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the pan lid and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, this will remove any excess moisture, then stir in the butter.
Tip ~ You can also make this into a main dish, just add spinach and some fried paneer cheese.
You'll find these recipes below in my Cookbook.
PICCALILLI - An easy to make Classic yellow Pickle.
CREAMY CAULIFLOWER SOUP - A delicious easy to make soup.