Photograph by Nassima Rothaker
Cauliflower takes on a nutty taste when you cook it for longer than 20 minutes. If you cook it for less, it does run the risk of being a little soapy in flavour. This recipe uses the whole cauliflower, including the leaves, meaning there is very little waste. The leaves also are delicious when deep fried.
Roasted Cauliflower, Caramelised Purée, Pickled Stems, Deep Fried Leaves, Capers & Lemon
Active time: 2 hrs
Making the Mustard Pickle
- 200ml white wine vinegar
- 80g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- Place everything in a medium sized saucepan and add 200ml water. Place the saucepan on a high heat and bring to the boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Making the Baked Lemon Jam
- 2 lemons
- 4 tablespoon caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 200℃.
- Place the fruit on a foil lined baking sheet or roasting dish. Bake for 40 minutes until golden and soft. Blend with the sugar, olive oil, salt and 25ml water. Add more water if necessary to form a thick ‘jam’.
Making the Cauliflower
- 2 cauliflower, or 1 large cauliflower
- 1/4 recipe Mustard Pickle
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 50ml non-dairy milk
- Table salt and freshly milled black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 8 cornichons, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Baked Lemon Jam
- Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and cut the stems from the centre. Cut the stems in half if they are really large. Gently heat the mustard pickle then pour over the stems and set aside.
- Cut each cauliflower into 4 slices. Set the 2 large centre slices aside from each. Chop the remaining slices into small pieces.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium sized saucepan over a moderately high heat. When hot, add the chopped cauliflower, season well and cover with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes, stir, then cook for another 5 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the cauliflower is a deep golden colour. Add the milk then blend until smooth to form a purée.
- If using one large cauliflower, slice the two large centres slices in half, so you have 4 slices in total. Heat a tablespoon each of oil in 2 large frying pans over a high heat. When hot, add 2 slices per pan and fry until a dark gold colour is reached. Flip the slices over and repeat on the other sides. When both sides are coloured, cover each pan with foil, or a lid, and turn down the heat to medium. Cook for another 10 minutes until soft.
- Mix the capers, cornichons, parsley and olive oil together. Season with black pepper.
- With the remaining vegetable oil, heat in a frying pan over a moderate heat. When hot, fry the cauliflower leaves until they turn a dark brown then remove with a slotted spoon, onto kitchen towel, season and set aside.
Heat the purée and divide between 4 plates. Place a slice of cauliflower on top then add the caper dressing. Dollop the lemon jam around the plate, then finish with the pickled stems and crispy leaves.