Posts Tagged ‘cauliflower’


Good golly it’s cauli

October 23, 2010

I have shared my love of cauliflower with you not so long ago, but last week I discovered a new way to express my undying adoration, in the form of cauliflower soup.

After the pickled pear sensation that came via Skye Gyngell’s book to accompany her cauli soup, I decided to follow her lead. Ms G, as is her wont, does a funky glam makeover of a basic cauliflower soup, adding gorgonzola and creme fraiche and the relish. Looks amazing and I’m sure tastes incredible. But as I am an old hag of simple tastes, I did it without the bling – and the cauli did its magical flavour trick once again.

From almost no ingredients at all came the most deliciously creamy, nutty, rich and silky soup. I am totally hooked. I added a tiny bit of leftover seeni sambol (as mentioned here), but the pickled pear relish would work perfectly of course, or just nothing at all.  (And for those of us who might be trying to stave off the inevitable end-of-year gluttony bulge this soup must be a total winner because it’s so rich and satisfying, but as I find all calorie talk about as interesting as conversation about real estate or mobile phone plans, let’s never speak of it again.)

Anyway. Here tis. Tell me if you make it and if it’s as good as I think, or whether I have gone cauli crazy.

Cauliflower soup

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower broken into small florets
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Heat the butter with a good glug of olive oil. When the butter starts to foam, add the onions and sauté over low heat for a few minutes until soft.
  2. Turn up the heat, add cauliflower and sauté for about10 to 15 minutes, turning regularly so it has a chance to turn golden all over.
  3. Add the stock and herbs, then turn down the heat and simmer cauliflower until very soft.
  4. When cauliflower is falling apart, puree the soup with a stick blender or in batches in a food processor till thick and creamy.
  5. Season with sea salt & pepper.



A bit on the side: roast cauli & chickpea salad

July 21, 2010

The other day, with a whole heap of folks coming to dinner, I had one of those crises of confidence in which you are suddenly convinced there won’t be enough food.

In our case this is almost always wrong (as indeed it turned out to be this time), but nevertheless the point came during the afternoon before a biggish gathering when Senor and I stood together peering into a huge pot (of Neil Perry’s cinnamon lamb) and asked each other, ‘Do you think there’ll be enough?’

Of course there was. But during that moment of doubt I recalled that in the fridge were a cauliflower and half a bunch of spinach, and the cupboard always has chickpeas. And I had for weeks wanted to try making a version of a delectable simple chickpea, silverbeet & cauliflower number I’d eaten twice now at Bodega (the Surry Hills tapas restaurant which I reckon must have some of the most blindingly delicious and original food in Sydney).

So I gave a version of this salad a try, as a little side dish to go with the tagine and the couscous, and it was not half bad. Next time I’d make the cauliflower florets larger as mine became a little too soft (and the Bodega cauli is deep-fried, I think, rather than roasted), but I have to say the flavour and texture was quite delicious. It’s a perfect quick side dish and chock full of goodness.

Roast cauliflower, spinach & chickpea salad

  • olive oil
  • ½ bunch English spinach, stems finely chopped & leaves roughly torn
  • ½ head cauliflower, broken into smallish florets
  • 1 cans chickpeas, very well drained
  • salt
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • tsp cumin
  • juice 1 lemon
  • few sprigs coriander, to garnish
  1. Break cauliflower into small florets, toss in a bowl with a good few glugs of olive oil till well coated, then spread over a baking tray and roast in a hot oven for around 30 mins or until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over high heat and add drained chickpeas. Add salt & agitate in the pan until the chickpeas are well coated and begin to turn golden.
  3. Remove chickpeas with a slotted spoon to kitchen paper.
  4. Finely chop the spinach stems and add to the hot oil, fry till the pieces begin to crisp. Turn off the heat and add the leaves until they wilt.
  5. Gently mix the chickpeas, roasted cauliflower and spinach with the garlic  in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and cumin, adjusting to taste.
  6. Serve with a little chopped coriander to garnish.

And now, friends of the oyster, I am taking a fortnight away from blogging – am off to a writing retreat to try to finish my novel. See you soon!