Has any vegetable had quite as fast a rise up the ‘in fashion’ list than cauliflower? In only a couple of short years cauliflower has become a hero ingredient on many restaurant menus and across a huge range of cuisine. Raw, riced, roasted, deep fried, even pizza, cauliflower is one of our most versatile ingredients.
A member of the brassica family, the most common variety is white, but it also comes in purple and green varieties. Add to these baby cauli, broccoflower and the caulilini, which are starting to appear, giving you even more choices. The white variety is available all-year round but at its best in autumn with bright white heads and crisp, green leaves.
The cauliflower’s rise in popularity has been due to both its versatility and a texture that can become ‘meaty’ and is a staple ingredient in many plant-based diets. Roasted, either whole or as florets, with a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper and it becomes beautifully savoury, or add more flavour with the likes of harissa, tahini or tandoori paste. Dress with fried capers, lemon juice and a scattering of currants or with garlic and Parmesan for European flavours.
Crumbed, or battered and deep fried, you have nuggets of joy which can be dipped into creamy yoghurt sauces or drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce.
Riced or cut very finely and you have a carbohydrate free grain replacement which can be cooked and used where you might rice, or left raw and made into tasty salads with the addition of punchy herbs and pops of colour and flavour like pomegranate seeds.