Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I think it is my second favourite vegetable. Seriously. Second only to peas (both frozen and fresh). Garlic, onions and tomatoes don't quite count. Certain vegetables are only excellent during their peak season and don't have an all year presence, like asparagus, so I'm not counting those either. So yes. Cauliflower is my second favourite vegetable.

How fabulously versatile is it? How many wonderful things can you do with a brassica that is, to be honest, a little dull. It's not something I sneak into the kitchen to nibble on (peas in pods don't last a day in our kitchen and cherry tomatoes are so very poppable) because on its own it is a bit bland. But the flavours it works with! And the processes and things you can do that turn it into magic. Here's to the mighty cauliflower!

The reason I am excited about cauliflowers is because I finally got around to making this sephardic dish of battered and fried caulflower in a lemony tomato sauce. I've had the recipe in my 'Make Me' pile for ages but it seemed like it might be a bit finnicky. It wasn't. You should make it.

You quickly blanch your cauliflower florets then drain them and mix them into a simple batter (half a cup of flour with some salt and pepper, tossed, then two eggs beaten with a bit of water, toss the floured cauliflower with that, then another half cup of flour - get in with yout hands!) then fry them up to golden and lovely. (I also dropped little blobs of batter into the oil.) You slip the crispy golden florets into a very simple tomato sauce with lemon zest and a squeeze of juice and let it barely simmer for ten minutes then eat it covered with parsley.

(Here's a link to the recipe proper on Michael's Herbivoracious blog.)

How good is that?

C declared it was his second favourite way to eat cauliflower. His favourite? Roasted and dipped in spicy ketchup. Yup, we're fancy.

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