Cauliflower - Transformed 4 Delicious Ways
Updated: Aug 5, 2020
A head of cauliflower goes a long way. This versatile winter vegetable adds smoothness in sauces and texture in dishes such as cauliflower cheese, roast cauliflower and cauliflower rice. Here is 4 of my favourite recipes using cauliflower.
1. Cauliflower Soup
Throw together this comforting and creamy cauliflower soup for lunch or a light dinner. It's perfect topped with parsley and served with crusty bread
1 large cauliflower (1½ kg), cut into florets
½ tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 thyme sprigs
1 onion, finely chopped or FreeFod onion replacer
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed or FreeFod garlic replacer
750-850ml Massel veg or chicken stock
100ml Lactose Free Cream
½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
Heat the oven to 220C/200C Toss the cauliflower florets in a roasting tin with 1 tbsp olive oil, the cumin and the thyme. Roast for 15 mins or until golden and tender. Discard the thyme.
Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan with the onion and celery and fry over a medium heat for 10 mins or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min. Stir through most of the cauliflower, reserving some to top the soup with later. Add 750ml of the stock to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 mins.
Blitz the soup until smooth using a hand blender or food processor. Stir through the cream and season to taste. Add extra stock if you like your soup a little thinner. Ladle into bowls and top with the parsley, reserved cauliflower and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
2. Cauliflower Mash
Everybody loves mash. It is one of our first solid foods as babies and goes with just about everything!! Cauliflower mash is a great alternative to the traditional potato mash.
Keep in mind that cauliflower cooks mush faster than potatoes. You can either steam cauliflower for 15 minutes or boil it for 10. Cauliflower is cooked when you can pierce it easily with a fork. After boiling, and draining, cover with a lid or foil. Saute 2 garlic cloves
Allowing the cooked cauliflower stand before mashing straight away lets it retain heat and continue to steam, so any excess moisture will reabsorb back into it. Not doing this may result in a watery mash.
For the creamiest mash, use a good food processor or blender. Depending on the size of your machines, you may need to do this in batches of two or three, throwing the cauliflower back into the pot after blending each batch. When you’re finished, give it a good mix through along with your other ingredients — taste test — and season your cauliflower mash with a little extra salt and pepper if needed.
Also try adding these ingredients to take your mash to the next level.
Sliced green onions
Oil — Olive, garlic or chili!
Herbs — Thyme, rosemary and parsley.
BUT my go to mash is Curried parsnip and cauliflower mash , from Pete Evan’s ‘Eat your Greens’.
The fact that it goes well with basically everything, tastes amazing and has a wonderful texture is hard to beat. The addition of Indian spices here is a fun take on a basic mash, and makes it perfect to accompany curried grilled snags, fish or roasted chicken.
Curried Parsnip and Cauliflower Mash
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 garlic bulb, kept whole
80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
5 large parsnips (about 1 kg), peeled and core removed
1 head of cauliflower (about 1 kg), florets cut into 5 cm pieces
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons coconut cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Crispy Curry Leaves sprigs
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
Place the mustard and cumin seeds in a frying pan over medium heat and cook, tossing frequently, until fragrant and toasted. Set aside.
Place the garlic bulb on a baking tray, drizzle over some oil and roast for 35–40 minutes, or until golden and tender.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the parsnip and cauliflower and cook for 15–20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and shake off any excess water. Place the cooked parsnip and cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the roasted garlic in half crossways and squeeze the soft garlic flesh straight into the food processor bowl. Add the 80 ml (1/3 cup) of oil, the lemon juice, curry powder and coconut cream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the mash back in the pan over medium heat and stir constantly until heated through.
To serve, sprinkle the toasted mustard and cumin seeds over the mash and finish with the crispy curry leaves.
3. Cauliflower Macaroni Bake
Is there any more comforting than a cheesy, golden pasta bake? I sure don't think so, add cauliflower and you have winter dinner winner!
500g Gluten Free Macaroni pasta
1 Large Cauliflower Head
8 Rashers of Bacon chopped
100g unsalted butter or Nutalex
6 slices of gluten free bread
1 onion, finely chopped or FreeFod onion replacer
3 garlic cloves, crushed or FreeFod garlic replacer
A few sprigs of Rosemary leaves
1/2 bunch sage, roughly chopped, plus extra whole leaves
1 tbs plain Gluten Free flour
900ml Lactose Free cream
250g Liddell’s Lactose Free Cheese, coarsely grated.
Liddell’s grated parmesan to serve
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a large baking dish. Trim the outer leaves off the cauliflower. Put in a large saucepan, core down with the pasta. Cover with boiling water from the kettle. Season with salt and drizzle over a little oil. Cook pasta according to packet instructions, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
2. Heat butter in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Reduce heat to low and add bay leaves, onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is softened and butter is lightly browned. Discard bay leaves.
3. Add sage and flour, and stir for 2 minutes to cook out flour. Gradually add cream, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Tip cauliflower & Pasta into baking dish, break the cauliflower up with the tongs then add half of the bacon, cheese, parmesan, stirring to combine. Add nutmeg and season.
4.With the remaining bacon blitz in the food processor with the gluten free bread and rosemary leaves.
5. Scatter the breadcrumb mixture over cauliflower & pasta. Top with remaining cauliflower cheese, and scatter with extra sage. Bake until golden and bubbling.
4. Italian Cauliflower Salad
This is my go to salad in winter or summer! It works wonders with steak, roast chicken or grilled fish.
1 head of cauliflower cut into bite sized florets
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Red Chilli, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Handful of Oregano leaves chopped
Handful of Basil leaves
90g pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
40g salted capers
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat to 200 degrees or 180(fan forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Pull the leaves off of the cauliflower base.
Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside to dry.
Drizzle with oil, toss to coat the cauliflower then scatter the cauliflower in a single layer across the prepared tray and season. Roast for 15-20 mins or until the cauliflower is golden.
Meanwhile, add the remaining oil to your frypan over a medium heat, add garlic & chilli, cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the capers and olives and saute for a further minute. Remove from the heat, add the parsley,oregano,vinegar or lemon juice and toss through the caper and garlic mixture. Season with salt & pepper.
Place the cauliflower in a bowl, add the caper and garlic dressing, toss to evenly coat. Arrange the salad on a platter. Scatter with the basil leaves and serve warm or cold.