Top 5: Ways to use Cauliflower

Last week I posted on my Top 5 Brassicas and after everyone’s enthusiasm for all things cauliflower I feel its only right that this weeks Top 5 should be about that very vegetable.  So with no further ado these are my Top 5 cauliflower dishes.

1.  Aloo Gobi – How could number 1 be anything else?  After all, the fate of many marriages in the Punjab apparently rest on the ability to cook a decent aloo gobi, or so the hero of Bend it Like Beckham’s mother would have us believe.   Bend it Like Beckham is a film which is unique, I think, in being about soccer but also having the director show us how to cook aloo gobi in one of the extras on the DVD.

2. Spicy Cauliflower with Ginger – And because they really do know how to cook cauliflower on the sub-continent my Number 2 dish is also Indian.  I really like the combination of cauliflower and ginger – really, really good.

3. Cauliflower Risotto – I love this risotto, I love the cauliflower taste of the rice and how the breadcrumb adds a fabulous contrasting texture, really really good and there is some possibility the kids might even eat it.

4. Fried with Tahini sauce – Decadent I know but if you fry it in olive oil then its not so bad is it????  Separate the cauliflower into florets,  dust with flour (either plain or besam works well) and fry until golden brown in hot oil.  To make the tahini sauce combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and extra virgin olive oil with a bit of water.  Blitz together.  Parsley also works well in this if you feel so inclined.

5. Pakoras  – And back we go to the sub-continent, or perhaps the middle east depending on the recipe: either way mixing cauliflower with spices, besam (chickpea flour) and then deep frying it is absolutely lovely.

Oh and throwing some cauliflower in to roast along with your chicken is really really good too- it takes up the lovely chicken flavour, along with a bit of the fat – Yum!  That was my Top 5, what would make yours?

This week the New Goodlife has five interesting facts about herself and some awards to share – head on over to see who she gives them to.

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11 Responses to Top 5: Ways to use Cauliflower

  1. Mark Willis says:

    Liz, where do you get your skill and enthusiasm for Indian cookery? It seems to be your favourite cuisine by a long way.
    I think cauliflower is also nice done in “Italian-ish” style, in other words with tomato sauce, garlic and mediterranean herbs and spices, such as oregano and fennel seeds.

    • Liz says:

      Well the skill is debatable but the enthusiasm comes from a love of the flavours and like many things the better you get at it the more you appreciate it. When i lived in London the area i lived in had lots of British Asians as did my workplace so they gave me lots of cooking tips. I also did a 10 week cookery course through Hounslow Adult Education. It was 3 hours every Saturday morning and we covered some of the basics of north Indian cookery. The teacher was Gujarti (via Africa) so her cooking reflected that part of the sub-continent, with a bit of diaspora thrown in.

  2. Liz, everything looks so delicious! And yes, I am with Mark: Where do you find it (“skill and enthusiasm for Indian cookery”)?! Liz, picture #2: what’s in that cup?

    • Liz says:

      The cup has beetroot rasam in it – there’s a recipe for it on the blog but basically it is a sweet, sour and spicy south Indian soup.

  3. Frogdancer says:

    Cauliflower cheese!!!!

    And do you know how many years I’ve taught ‘Bend it like Beckham’, used the dvd and had no idea that this recipe was on it? Guess what I’m going to be viewing at lunchtime today?

    • Liz says:

      I hope the Aussie version has it – my version is the Region 2 one bought in the UK. I didn’t know it was taught – for English? Media studies?

      I do like cauliflower cheese but strangely I never cook it – I never know what to served it with.

  4. Love this list, pity I don’t have caulis in the garden. Maybe I’ll pick one up at the market this weekend. I’ve already made your aloo gobi and can attest to its deliciousness. The risotto looks very appealing, I’ll certainly try that one too. As for the deep-fried cauliflower, I’m sure it’s fabulous, but it was also a mainstay of my uni caf meals when I living on campus and put on 20 kilos! Not sure I could go back there.

    • Liz says:

      I am growing caulis but they aren’t looking that great if i’m honest. 20kg is a lot of deep fried cauliflower…but then it is delicious…..

      • 2okg IS a lot, but sadly I can’t blame the caulis alone, they also deep fried broccoli and countless other vegetables. Plus dinner was served so early that we were all starving by 8pm and ordered pizza or something. I should add that I was ridiculously skinny when I left for uni, but twenty kilos was a bit over the top. Luckily I’ve never had trouble losing weight so it didn’t take much to get me back on track.

        Now what I really came on here to write about is the cauliflower risotto. I made it tonight for dinner, YUM! In Miss Three’s words ‘delicious’ followed by ‘cauliflower is yummy’, she ate more than usual and better still not one trip to time out or tabletop antic! The breadcrumbs on top – which I left off the kids – was just perfect. I took your advice and just left it simple, bread, chilli and olive oil. Thanks for the recipe!

        • Liz says:

          I stayed in residential college at uni (too?) and we ate early too which meant frequent nightcaps of 2 minute noodles…at least pizza has some nutritional value. Really glad you enjoyed the risotto! and better yet that Miss 3 ate it. Funnily enough last time I made it I made the crumb without chilli but with bits of olives through it and that was the only bit Mr 2 ate.

  5. Louise says:

    Yum. Ok, these are all going on my must cook list.

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