Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, containing some of almost every vitamin & mineral you need for a healthy body. It’s also high in fiber as well as low in calories, so an excellent all round vegetable.
My childhood memories of cauliflower are of cauliflower cheese – either boiled with cheese sauce or boiled with grated cheddar melted over the top. Tastes weren’t as adventurous in those days and there wasn’t the choice of ingredients either.
As time has moved on there has been a lot of experimentation with ingredients and recipes have come from different cultures giving us new ideas and flavours for cauliflower.
One of my favourite ways to eat cauliflower is to make it either into a ‘rice’ or ‘couscous’.
This makes a delicious alternative to grains and in the case of couscous, is also gluten free. I then stir fry the cauliflower with herbs, spices, nuts and dried fruit to complete the dish.
It’s light and fresh, easy to eat on it’s own or with grilled meat or fish and also works well cold as a salad, rolled into wraps or stuffed into pitta breads. My children will happily eat it by itself.
Serves 4 – 6
400g coarsely grated cauliflower
1 handful of raisins
1 handful of toasted flaked almonds
1 small red onion, finely sliced
1 small clove garlic – chopped
1 small red chilli – mild or hot to taste, optional
1/2 tsp ground cumin seed
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 tbsp coriander leaves
salt and pepper to taste.
In a large frying pan, stir fry the onion over medium heat until softened, add the garlic, chilli, cauliflower, raisins, almonds and spices.
Stir fry with a splash of water to heat through. When hot, remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and coriander leaves. Season to taste before serving.
Baked Spiced Cauliflower
I created this dish one April day in spring, when the sun had come out after a couple of really dark, dank days. I suddenly wasn’t feeling the need to make a warming curry, so trawled through a combination of Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean based cookery books to come up with something different. Needless to say, I’m pleased with the result!
The recipe doesn’t contain onion, garlic or chillis, you could add some, or not depending on your preference.
Serves 3 – 4
1 medium cauliflower
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seed
¼ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp oil
2cm piece root ginger, shredded
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
100g sweet pepper, chopped
Set the oven to 190C/375F/Gas5
Cut the cauliflower into florets about 3cm size. Keep the stalk on the florets.
Put the pepper, tomatoes, ground coriander, turmeric, salt, pepper & oil into a blender and blitz to a paste. Stir through the cumin seed and shredded ginger.
Grease a small roasting tin with a little oil, put in the cauliflower and pour over the paste. Mix well and put into the oven for 30mins, turning half way through to give some dark, charred areas to the cauliflower. The paste will reduce and thicken. If it gets too thick, add a little water.