Our kitchen garden cook shares some of her favourite recipes with cauliflower.
Hidden among their sage-coloured leaves are my cauliflowers, waiting to be transformed into delicious and creative dishes
Fragrant lamb tagine with cauliflower couscous (serves 4)
500g boneless lamb shoulder
50g plain flour
30ml olive oil
2 onions, chopped
20g harissa, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped 100g tomato purée
Pinch of saffron threads
100g dried apricots
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
750ml boiling water
400g chickpeas, cooked and tinned
A handful each of fresh coriander and parsley, roughly chopped
Preheat your oven to 180 ̊C/350 ̊F/gas mark 3. In a large freezer bag, mix together the flour, paprika and turmeric and shake well. Add the lamb and mix it around until every surface is coated, then set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish and add the chopped onion, frying until translucent rather than brown. Add the harissa, crushed garlic, lamb and tomatoes. Stir and cook until the lamb is gently browned. Add the tomato purée, saffron, dried apricots, preserved lemon and boiling water. Place the lid on the casserole dish and then put it in the oven for an hour.
Meanwhile, remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and pulse the florets in a food processor until they resemble couscous. Drop the cauliflower into a large pan of salted, boiling water and cook for a few minutes before draining. Pour a drizzle of olive oil over it and sprinkle with salt, fluffing it with a fork as you go.
To serve, take the casserole out of the oven, stir in the chickpeas and add the fresh herbs. Leave to rest for five minutes, so that the chickpeas heat through.
Serve the lamb with the cauliflower couscous on the side and fresh salad.
More ways with cauliflower
Cauliflower and Pecorino mash
Remove the outer leaves from a large cauliflower and cut it into florets (although not too perfectly, as it will be puréed). Place the florets into a pan and add enough chicken stock to just cover them. Put a lid on the pan and simmer until completely tender. Once cooked, drain in a colander and then purée with a handheld blender. Add a generous splash of olive oil, a crushed clove of garlic, seasoning and a little cream. Spoon into a bowl and grate 100g Pecorino over it, before warming in a moderate oven. Serve as a side dish.
Cauliflower soup with roasted hazelnuts and za’atar
Remove the outer leaves from a cauliflower and cut into manageable pieces. Pour enough chicken stock into a pan to cover the florets. Add a small peeled potato and a peeled and roughly chopped onion. Simmer until tender, blend and then stir a splash of single cream through it. To make the za’atar, place the following in a pestle and mortar: 4tspn toasted sesame seeds, 1tbspn thyme, 1tspn chilli powder, 2tspn sumac and a good pinch of salt. Grind together and mix with 80g roasted, chopped hazelnuts. Divide the soup between bowls. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of the za’atar.