Category Archives: Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower curry…

This dish was a result of opening my spice cupboards, breathing in the aromas, and going with my instincts to create a dish I knew I would enjoy. It’s been a while since I played with my Spice Kitchen masala dabba spice tin, and it was a joy to revisit it..

Ingredients

Small/medium cauliflower, cut into even florets

500g passata/sieved tomatoes

Medium red onion, peeled and chopped

3 fat garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato purée

2 healed tablespoons of ground almonds/almond flour

2 tsp brown mustard seeds

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds

2 tsp Garam masala spice mix

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground chilli powder or to taste

Options: add vegetables of your choice, chunks of boiled potatoes can add some substance if necessary

Method

Heat your oven to 200C/400F, spread the cauliflower florets on a large oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until browned and softened without cooked so much that it’s falling apart. Keep to one side until needed.

In a large pan over a medium heat, warm some rapeseed oil, or oil of your choice, briefly. Add the mustard seeds, when they start to pop, add the chopped red onion. Cook for a few minutes until it starts to soften.

Add the chopped garlic, cook for a 1-2 minutes.

Add all of the spices except the the Garam masala and cook together for 1-2 minutes without burning the spices. Add the passata and tomato purée and stir well. Swish out the passata container with 100-200ml of water and add that to the pan. Stir it all well.

Turn the heat down, cover to save on splattering, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the Garam masala and stir through, then add the ground almonds, stir through and cook for a further 5-10 minutes to thicken. Cook for longer for a thicker sauce, less for thinner.

Add the cauliflower florets and cover them all with the sauce and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover the pan and allow the flavours to develop for several hours, or a couple of days even, before heating and serving.

Eat on it’s own as a complete dish, or with rice, grains or lovely flatbreads.

Twice cooked cauliflower steaks..

Roasted cauliflower is not new on this blog, I’d just like to share with you something that I do in my kitchen…

Whenever I roast cauliflower, I always roast the whole thing so that I have leftovers; this way whatever is left is easy to reheat for the next day’s lunch. Once it’s already been roasted, reheating the cauliflower in an oven takes no time at all and it gets really nice and crunchy really quickly. You can eat it cold, or heat it in a microwave, but you won’t then get that lovely crunchiness. 

Then it can be topped with whatever you’ve got to hand, like I do…

You can consider it an alternative to bread if you like?

This is a perfect idea to share with this Corina’s Cook Once Eat Twice collection this month. I hope you like my ideas…

Above are roasted cauliflower steaks, reheated until crispy, topped with leftovers of my bulgur wheat salad with chopped parsley & coriander, garlic, spring onion, chilli, olive oil & lemon juice, and my salad of roasted aubergines, chopped and mashed, skin and all, with finely chopped garlic, spring onions & chillies, olive oil & lemon juice, and roughly chopped parsley and coriander, with some avocado on the side.

Seriously crunchy roasted cauliflower (on the edge of being burnt but not quite!), butternut squash wedges, and a mix of grains, aubergine, chopped herbs, spices, olive oil & ACV, all drizzled with tahini.

Roasted cauliflower topped with a mixed herb and freeze dried pineapple salsa, and crumbled goats cheese.

Lunch of roasted cauliflower topped with my roasted carrot & aubergine sauce creation from my last post, here pimped with added yoghurt to create something completely new and lovely – and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Re-roasted cauliflower toppe with stuffed roasted peppers and homous.

I do think that cauliflower is a beautiful thing, I love trees and cauliflower really is like a baby tree – although probably a lot tastier..;) 

Cauliflower and chickpeas ❤

There are some dishes that stay in your heart, that you never tire of…my marinated cauliflower is one of them…I made it again last week, and this time made my version with added chickpeas, and fell in love all over again!!! (I have to make it in small batches because I know I will eat the whole thing!)

Heavenly!

I’ve learnt from each time I’ve cooked this dish, and I now know to cook it for longer than I did originally. I can’t tell you exactly how long though, I just keep a watch on it. If you can be patience and take it right to the edge, it will reward you with crunchy cauliflower and gorgeous chickpeas 🙂 

My BBQ spice mix: all the flavour, none of the sugar…

If you buy any barbecue spice mixes or rubs or seasonings, they will include a smoky element, maybe a spicy element, usually a lot of salt, and pretty much always a HUGE amount of sugar. That mix of flavours epitomises BBQ seasonings, and aids the caramelisation of whatever is being cooked with it. 

If you search up recipes to make your own, you will find a similar story. But by choosing to make your own, you can amend the recipe to suit your tastes and preferences. If I make a barbecue based sauce or marinade for my boys, I will typically use honey or maple syrup, and I use a lot less than recipes suggest…I’ve never made a barbecue spice rub because I just couldn’t get my head round all that sugar, until now…

If you have seen my previous two posts, for my chilli cause and my salsa, you will have seen that I used ground freeze dried pineapple as the sweetnener. It intrigued me whether this could be used in a spice mix in the same way, or would it just burn when cooked? Pineapple caramelises if you grill it, so what would the freeze dried version do?

Well, I’m here to tell you it works very well. So, I introduce MY BBQ spice mix…

The photo above shows the freeze dried pineapple as it comes, plus some that I’ve broken down, as well as the finished mix 

I have so far used this spice mix to flavour a dip (very nice!), I used it as a rub on chicken which I grilled for the boys (thumbs up from both), and today I used it to roast some cauliflower…

I cut the florets into halves and quarters, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled with a couple of teaspoons of the spice mix and mixed it all well. I then roasted it at 200C (fan) until it was all nicely cooked and bit crunchy…

And served it on a bed of homous…

What looks like burnt bits isn’t, it didn’t taste burnt, merely crunchy and tasty. I think if I’d cooked it any longer, it would have taken it too far. 
But the fact is, it works! I’m so chuffed 🙂

This is what I mixed..

4 tbsp ground freeze dried pineapple (for my tastes, I could happily use only 2 tablespoons, so you need to experiment)

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp ground roasted cumin

1 tbsp Aleppo chilli flakes

1/2 tbsp ground black pepper

1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder 

1 tsp dried oregano 

I mixed it all and ground it to a fine mix, but you could keep it more textured if you wish. 

The mix stores well in a sealed glass jar. If it clumps together just break it up before you use it – any mix using garlic powder tends to clump as it’s quite moist. 

The mix of flavours is so good, it’s still not as sweet as store bought mixes would be, because that’s my choice, but you could play with that. Do keep in mind that the pineapple is very sweet, so you may not need as much as you think. 

So, success, I think? What do you reckon…?

I hope that everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday like my creation 🙂 this week, the lovely Petra and Ai are co hosting, pop over and have a visit…happy weekend!

Some dishes are too good not to share…(virtually anyway!!) 

This was one of those dishes that developed over a few days, started out as one thing, and became another, as I pimped leftovers…and culminated in such heaven on a plate that I just had to share it! 
It began as one of my typical salads…

The salad at the top, left of the dish, is made up of lots and lots of chopped flat leaf parsley; a mixture of cooked grains, in this case including spelt and kamut, both cooked my way; chopped garlic; liberal amounts of ground roasted cumin and paprika, and a sprinkling of Aleppo chilli flakes; a good amount of lemon juice and a good amount of olive oil. This is a very typical salad for me, sometimes it includes chopped coriander as well, sometimes some added dill, all different grains, sometimes added seeds or nuts. 

I usually put all this together and then leave it to brew overnight, as the flavours develop and it is even better when eaten the next day, and the day after that to be honest. This occasion was no different. And so it became a part of the meal above one lunchtime. 

The next day, some of the leftovers made their way onto this lovely aubergine boat, now very much a firm fixture in my kitchen since its first introduction…and as you’ll notice, the salad had gained some cooked chickpeas and avocado by this time..

I cooked the aubergine whole in the microwave for 6 minutes ( it was a large aubergine) then put it under a hot grill, close to the heat, turing it occasionally to slightly burn the skin and give it a nice finish. I then cut it open and slathered the hot softened flesh with freshly made homous, and topped with more of the salad. Yum!!!! 

The leftovers then sat in the fridge for another day, during which time I made up my most favourite of dishes, my marinated cauliflower and chickpeas. I’ve learn from experience to roast the dish for longer than I did originally, and having served and eaten the cauliflower, and/or potatoes, whichever version you make, and been left with some chickpeas and garlic, put it back I the oven to cook even more. The outcome is stunning, and a challenge not to eat it all immediately!!! 

These were the leftovers that I forced myself to save!! And so yesterday, they joined the rest of my salad, and created a dish of so much flavour and joy, I can barely find the words!! 

Heavenly! 

The mixture of the ingredients and flavours, and how they’d all developed was fabulous! 

So, I just had to share it…obviously, only sharing it virtually is fine, I wouldn’t have shared it in person….only joking, of course 😉 

And yes, there was leftovers, which of course, got whizzed up with tahini and became a dip! You wouldn’t expect anything else 😀😀 

I’m going to share this post with everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday, and this month’s Cook Once Eat Twice link up….like I said, I’m only too happy to share it, virtually…!  😉 

Roasted cauliflower leaves…

A little while ago I was intrigued by a post on Laura’s blog about roasting the outer leaves of a cauliflower; I’d read about it before but not yet given it a go myself, so of course, I got straight onto it!

The leaves roast very quickly, especially the outer, thinner, leafy bit, and they get really crispy. The challenge is not to eat them straight out of the oven because, firstly (and obviously if I’d stopped to think about it!) they get really hot, and secondly, if you just wait a few minutes, the leaves crisp up even more (as I discovered after exercising some patience…having burnt my tongue on the really hot one!).

The method is pretty straight forward:

Preheat the oven to 200C fan

Remove and wash the outer leaves – really wash them as this is where little bugs can live

Cut off any browning tips from where the grocer may have previously trimmed the leaves 

Lay the leaves in a single layer on your oven tray and spray with your chosen oil, I used olive oil 

Turn the leaves over and spray both sides

Roast for 5-10 minutes until you see the leaves starting the brown, remove the pan, turn the leaves over and roast a little longer until both sides of the leaves are slightly browned

At this mid point I have experimented with sprinkling the leaves with spices, the ones in the photos below are sprinkled with za’atar 

Once the leaves look browned and crunchy, remove the pan from the oven and allow the leaves to cool for a few minutes, as per the comment above 

These can then be eaten on this own as a snack or side dish, or incorporated into another dish

A note: the spines on the larger outer leaves can be quite thick, and can remain quite chewy to eat; I would still roast these leaves and then cut away the crispy edges once roasted; the inner, smaller leaves will be absolutely fine all the way through 

Yesterday I made the dish below using a mixture of the cauliflower leaves as well as roasting some of the florets and chunks of the main stalk (this part is also very tasty, usually having more flavour than the actual florets, in my opinion)..

I topped my cauliflower with chopped persevered lemon, chopped cashew nuts that I’d roasted and sprinkled with Aleppo chilli flakes, and a herby harissa concoction I created from mixing my rose harissa with chopped coriander, parsley and mixed seeds..

And very nice it was too! Another lovely lunch creation, if I do say so myself 😉 

Aloo gobi matar (potato, cauliflower & peas): the meal, the dish, the leftovers, and more vegetable stuffed parathas (flatbreads)…

 At the weekend, one of the dinners I prepared was an Indian feast, which included marinated chicken kebabs for my boys, this kala chana (brown chickpea) curry, which was a masala sauce I had created myself and added the chickpeas to..

…a rajma (red kidney bean) curry…inspired by this recipe from Mallika Basu

 …pimped baked beans for my boy (I drained off as much of the liquid as possible then added my own puréed masala sauce and cooked them in that, which turned out to be a great success!)…
  …and, this…

…aloo gobi matar, which is potatoes, cauliflower and peas, cooked with red onions and spices. I followed Aruna’s recipe for aloo gobi and added the peas to that. 

And of course, there were naan breads 🙂

It was a very tasty dinner and the aloo gobi matar, with the lovely sweetness of the peas, was a great addition. And of course, maybe the best bit, there was lots of lovely leftovers…I’ve still got a big dish of the rajma curry in the fridge today! 

I finished off half of the potato, cauliflower and peas for lunch yesterday with added quinoa and homous… 

…and the other half I stuffed into flatbreads and successfully tempted my son with them 🙂 He didn’t eat the vegetables as they were in the original dish, but he happily ate them stuffed into bread! 

I followed the recipe I used in my previous post, replacing the broccoli with some of the mashed aloo gobi matar… 

    
  And again, grilled some cheese on the leftover breads! Why not? It worked so well previously, why not do it again…and again?! 

I do like this way of using up leftovers but also of getting more vegetables into my darling child. He will literally eat any of the breads in make, stuffed with whatever vegetables – success! And they’re fun to make, especially if little hands want to join in 🙂