Why We Should All Be Praising The Cauliflower

Cauliflower Mash Shepherds Pie
Pictures by Miriam Calleja

Ever since I’ve been keeping an eye on my carbohydrate intake, it has become increasingly apparent that the cauliflower is a staple vegetable to have in my kitchen. Surprised? The humble cauliflower is relatively easy to cook even for newbies and it can be introduced as an alternative to other ingredients with a higher carb load (and less nutrition).

Here are some suggestions how to use cauliflower and how to make it a star ingredient in your kitchen:

Cauliflower ‘rice’

Remove the thick stalk end and all the leaves. Break up the florets into chunks. Wash the chunks and dry them very well with a kitchen towel. Place the chunks into the blender in small batches. The result will resemble snowflakes and will look like rice. Use this instead of couscous or rice by cooking it in a pan for some minutes. Add spices, salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower mash

For this recipe you will need:

  • a small cauliflower head
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic, according to size and taste
  • a knob of butter
  • a tub of Greek yoghurt (about 250g)
  • chopped chives

Remove the extra leaves and stalk from around the cauliflower and then chop it into florets. Boil in water for about 20 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the largest floret. Drain and blend the cauliflower with the garlic and Greek yoghurt. Empty into a large bowl and mix in butter and chives. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Hint: use this in Shepherd’s pie.

Roasted whole cauliflower with cheese sauce

Wash and dry your cauliflower, remove any outer leaves and chop off any extra from the thick central stalk so that the vegetable can sit flat. Carefully carve a ‘V’ shape into the stalk from the bottom and remove this cone. Place in a 180C oven with the fan on and bake for about 45 minutes to one hour until completely browned on the outside and soft enough to be pierced easily with a knife. Melt some Leicester, Gouda or Cheddar cheese in single cream or béchamel and serve with the cauliflower, piping hot.