Getting creative with cauliflowers
In recent weeks our kitchen at Deans Court has become home to probably more than it’s fair share of cauliflowers. Our vegetable garden is quite literally bursting at the seams with them. Anyone remember that massive thunderstorm two weeks ago? Well, according to our gardener Ellie, that’s the cause. The lighting that struck the ground has turned the nitrogen in the soil into a plant usable form, which has in turn lead to massive growth in our cauliflower crop. And that’s great news for us, it’s meant that lovely, milky, nutty flavour cauliflower florets so generously provide has become a staple in our diets and added so much variety and goodness to our meals.
Eating by the seasons we’re used to making do with what we’re given, having an influx of one particular fruit or vegetable forces you to get a little bit more creative than you might if you always had your pick of the Tesco fruit and veg aisle. So, rather than eat cauliflower cheese morning, noon and night, we’ve started to experiment with different ways of using this versatile veg. We’ve baked it, roasted it, grated it and even made pizzas from it. And as it turns out the unassuming, and often overlooked, cauliflower is a surprising star.
One of our favourite discoveries so far has been baked cauliflower rice. Simply grate the florets (or blend in a magimix) until they reach a rice-like consistency and then bake them in the oven for around half an hour scattered with a generous tea spoon of sea salt and melted coconut oil. This brings out a really smoky hearty flavour from the cauliflower which pairs perfectly with marinated chicken or barbequed lamb. Alternatively use the rice as the base of a salad to replace of a grain like couscous or quinoa.
In addition cauliflowers are particularly receptive to spicy flavours, especially cumin, turmeric and ginger and therefore work really well when added to curries or other Asian dishes which use these spices.
Cauliflowers not only taste delicious but they’re also packed with an impressive array of health benefits. High quantities of vitamin C and B6 mean they are a great antioxidant and high traces of folate, protein and fibre aid digestive health and help your system to detoxify.
What’s also great is that cauliflowers are one of those vegetables that are pretty much available all season long, we only have a few left in our crop at the moment but are due to harvest more in September. Different varieties peak at different times throughout the year and at the moment we not only have the classic white species but also amazing bright purple and green ones. Purple, or Trevi, cauliflowers get their vibrant colour from a stronger presence of anthocyanin, an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties while the green ones have a slightly sweeter taste and are often referred to as a ‘broccoflower’,due to their close links to their sister veg, broccoli.
We’ve listed a few of our favourite unusual cauliflower recipes below, so why not get creative with your veg and try something new from this list. We’d love to hear your recipes too, so please share these in the comments below!