Cream Dream

11th June 2010

We regret to announce the imminent death of the cauliflower…

Long a favourite on the British menu, sales of cauliflower have suffered over the last ten years, partly due to the arrival of many exotic varieties of vegetables from abroad on our supermarket shelves. Yet the old faithful cauli remains extremely versatile, just as at home smothered in a velvety cheese sauce as spiced up in a delicious curry.
It’s a shame to disregard such a delicious and healthy vegetable: an excellent source of Vitamins C, K, folate and dietary fibre. A couple of tasty recipes here, therefore, to show it in a new light, and encourage a revival…

Cauliflower & Chicken Curry

Serves 4
Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil • 6 large chicken thighs (skinless & boneless) • 1 onion finely diced • 2 green chillies finely diced • 2 cm of ginger finely grated • 3 cloves garlic pureed • 1/2 tsp chilli powder • 1 tsp turmeric • 2tsp garam masala • 1tbsp soft brown sugar • 1 tin chopped tomatoes • 1 can coconut milk • 1 cauliflower broken into florets • Salt & pepper • 2 large handfuls spinach

Method:

1. Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, brown the chicken pieces on all sides then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion to the pan (add a little more oil if necessary) and cook until the onions are soft.

3. Add the green chilli, ginger and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring for a further minute. Next add the chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and sugar and cook, stirring for a minute to release the spices.

4. Tip the tomatoes and coconut milk into the pan, then add the chicken and cauliflower. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes until the cauliflower and chicken are cooked through. Add a little stock or water if the sauce gets too thick.

5. Taste to check the seasoning then stir through the spinach until it just starts to wilt.

Cauliflower Cheese & Smoked Bacon Tart

Serves 6
Ingredients:

• Plain flour • 1 pack readymade shortcrust pastry • Greaseproof paper • Dried beans or ceramic beans to weigh down the pastry • 1 small cauliflower broken into small florets • 4 rashers smoked bacon, roughly chopped • 1 onion diced • 3 eggs, beaten • 500ml crème fraiche • Small bunch chives chopped • 100g grated strong cheddar • Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Preheat to oven to 170°c, 325°f or Gas Mark 3.

2. On a floured surface roll the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and line a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin gently pushing the pastry into the corners and trimming off the excess.

3. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and weight it down with dried beans or ceramic beans, cook for 15 mins, then remove the beans and greaseproof and cook for a further 8 mins or until the pastry is pale golden.

4. In a pan of boiling water simmer the cauliflower for 5 mins until it starts to soften, then drain and set aside.

5. In a frying pan cook the bacon until brown, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn the heat down and gently cook the onion in the same pan for 3-4 mins until soft.

6. Tip the cauliflower, bacon and onion into the pastry shell so they are fairly evenly distributed.

7. In a bowl combine the eggs, crème fraiche, chives and half the cheese, and season to taste.

8. Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case and top with the remaining cheese. Cook in the oven for 30 mins until the top is golden brown and it’s cooked through with just a slight wobble in the centre. Serve warm or cold.

Find Your Local