Cauliflower…my sweet inflorescence


If you don’t like cauliflower, look away now.  If, for you it is more akin to smelly socks than culinary delights then we simply have nothing in common and you should probably stop reading my blog.

My love affair is reaching dizzying heights.  Remember that stage we all go through in relationships when you can’t stop talking about the other person or…cauliflower?  That is where I am now, only I have actually been at this stage for quite a while.  Now I come to think of it, the force has been strong for at least 17 years, if not longer.

When I sat down to think about the humble cauliflower (as I often do), I realised how many lovely caulifluous memories I have.  For instance, I still remember my 21st birthday celebrations with my university buddies; parts of it anyway.  We all saved up to go to the solitary good restaurant in the slightly lugubrious setting of Newcastle-under-Lyme and the one thing I remember clearly about that night was the cauliflower cheese; homely, comforting and just a whisper of nutmeg.  It was sublime.

More recently it was the cauliflower pakoras I made last week.  How can you not like a pakora?  Deep fried, spiced and just laden with joy.  I fried my cauliflower before adding it to my pakora batter, I like my cauliflower deeply caramelised .  The very helpful man at the shop where I got my spice blend from was even giving me tips on how to check when my batter was ready.  My man was a happy beast when he got home late from work and I whipped up a batch of hot, salty pakoras.

Last night I used up the last of my cauliflower by making a little cauliflower risotto with kale.  I made a basic risotto and then at the end folded through a cauliflower puree which I had made whilst cathartically stirring the rice and topped it all off with roasted cauliflower.  It was a cauliflower orgy, cauliflower in all its guises.  I only took one lonely little photo because it was late and I was hungry.

I am not going to give you a proper recipe today but I am going to give you a gift.  The gift of knowledge.  Are you ready for me to impart my pearl of wisdom?  I only have one pearl.

Roasted cauliflower is gosh darn sexy.  Do yourselves a favour, go and chop up a cauliflower, cut it in cross sections so you have more surface area to caramelise, put it on a baking tray, whack a wee dram of oil on it, salt and pepper it up and pop it in the oven.  My oven is pretty mediocre so I crank it to about 220 degrees and it takes about 20-25 mins to get deeply caramelised.  Now sit back and enjoy.  Have it with your next roast, or make a warm salad with some blue cheese, hazelnuts, slices of pear.  Just take my word for it.  Go and roast a cauliflower.






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