Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Cauliflower
We’ve developed a bit of a love-hate with cauliflower recently. Love, because it tastes great. Hate? No matter how much the love, we can never put it in our boxes - pungent is an understatement after any longer than one hour (trust us, we’re doing you a favour by not using it). That said, it’s still a great vegetable to cook at home with! Caulirice, cauliflower shawarma, roast cauliflower steak, cauliflower crust pizza: it’s versatility keeps on coming.
And aside from being a vegan's dream, a carb replacer and a salad must-try, it’s also loaded with the good stuff. It's low in sugar, is high in anti-inflammatory properties, helping to soothe the intestine and it's white colour indicates ying properties in Chinese medicine, helping to increase calmness. For the best, make sure to pick pure white heads with crisp, green leaves. Checking the colour of the base to check how white it is, is a good indication of freshness.
- Try it roasted instead of boiled. Just cut into florets, add olive oil, salt and pepper (and a little turmeric if you wish) then roast for 30-40mins. Serve in a salad (great with cranberries) or alongside any hot dish.
- Cauli-rice, we love you. Perfect alongside curries to add an extra serve of veg, or in a salad to add a new texture, or even in replacement of rice in sushi (although it’s messy, we warn you). Simply add raw cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until you have a rice-like consistency. We then either pan fry or boil it for 4-5mins to make it a little softer.
- Cauli-rice can also be used as a grain-free porridge replacement (one for the brave). Just boil in milk, add other flavours (banana/dates etc) and be sure to add a little more sweetener than you would to your usual oats!
- Away from roasted and riced, shaved cauliflower is also great in a salad. Simply shave into thin slices using either a food processor or mandolin then add to your salad. Do it the pollen way and add puy lentils, raisins, massaged kale and a creamy turmeric dressing - delicious!
- Cauliflower steaks are a great veg/vegan alternative. Cut the cauliflower into thick slices (stalk included) then cover in oil and seasoning and roast at 200C for 15-20mins. Try cumin, turmeric and cracked black pepper.
- And of course we can't forget the all important cauliflower crust pizza. There are a million recipes available but the basic principle is blitzed cauliflower (with the water squeezed out) with gluten free flour and eggs. Just be sure to squeeze out all the water if you don’t want a sludgy mess - we’ve all been there.