Friday, 2 April 2010

So many Cauliflower recipes

yet I still have to find one I love.

My mother only knew how to cook cauliflower one way and that was as a Aloo Gobi salan, sometimes this was mashed and stuffed into a paratha, a sneaky, but delicious way my mother would make us eat this vegetable. Then I left my parents home, and discovered a little home cook in me. I experimented with many vegetables, including the cauliflower in soups and as the popular cauliflower cheese. Yet somehow I have not been able to shirk that childish perspective of it looking unattractive and resembling the human brain, there was also its offensive smell that would linger in my small flat.

Then I learned my then accidental boyfriend (fiancée) now husband) loved this creamy white curd vegetable. So like anyone trying to win over a suitor, I tried to overcome these prejudices of mine and tried to look at the cauli-Flower florets with a ‘love dove eyes’ and tolerate its ghastly smell. This has resulted in me making a number of cauliflower recipes for my loved one. I also learned to respect this all year round vegetable. Some of these recipes, I admit to have enjoying such as the cauliflower tempura, terrine, cauliflower quiche, paprika cauliflower and others such as cauliflower 'rice' aka cauliflower 'couscous', and cauliflower pancakes, cauliflower, caper and chilli pasta, cauliflower and sun dried tomato tart, cauliflower with dukkah not so much, but I still ate them.

For this reason, I am still looking for inspiration to disguise the cauliflower. I’ve recently seen cauliflower popcorn where florets are chopped into bite sized and cooked or roasted in oil slowly until they are crisp and molten brown; and even Cauliflower steaks, popularized by the actress Alicia Silverstone in her book the Kind Diet. Cauliflower steaks are simply cauliflower pieces cut into thick slices and cooked in oil until golden. Today though it is this Cauliflower with Gherkins and capers.
Cauliflower dishes are not the easiest to present beautifully in photographs. They always appear very yellow, as does this one.
The sharp twang of the capers and gherkins was an interesting change. This dish has a few stages: cooking the cauliflower, making the breadcrumbs, the sauce, so if you decide to make it, be prepared to spend a little more time in the kitchen.
Cauliflower with Gherkins and capers
Serves 4 – 6
25g butter or margarine
2 medium onions, minced
1 generous tablespoon of flour
Pinch of thyme
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon tomato puree
450ml vegetable stock
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons capers, minced
1 tablespoon gherkin, finely sliced
Oil for frying
4 stalks of celery, finely sliced
1 small cauliflower, cut into bite sized and steamed until tender
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of stale bread, made into breadcrumbs mixed with 100g cheese, grated
In a large pan, fry half of the onions in the butter, then sprinkle over the flour and thyme and cook at medium heat, stirring for a couple of minutes. Add 1 teaspoon coriander and tomato puree and thoroughly stir until the onions are well coated. Slowly whisk in the stock and 1 teaspoon of tamari and heat until simmering, then turn down and simmer until it thickens. Then whisk in the vinegar, capers and gherkins and set aside.
In another pan, fry the rest of the onions in a little oil until soft, then add the celery, remaining coriander and tamari. Stir well and cook for five minutes or so. Set aside. Combine the vegetables and the sauce in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the cheese and breadcrumbs mixture. Bake on Gas mark 5 for 30 minute or until bubbling and hot around the edges. Serve with roast potatoes and some greens. Adapted from The Food for Thought cookbook by Guy Garrett and Kit Norman.


  1. yum - i love gherkins and cauliflower, must show this to my hubby as he is the one who cooks savoury things in our house.

  2. You have me craving cauliflower now...I especially like the sound of the terrine, and cauliflower rice...what an awesome idea. Thanks for inspirations.

  3. I have never tried it cooked any other way but boiled and salt and butter. I will have to try this. Thanks for sharing you are the best.

  4. How sweet of you to keep trying new ways to serve cauliflower for your husband.I like cauliflower and I like to use it in mixed veggie dishes where it is not all cauliflower...This one sounds very interesting and good! Peace, Stephanie

  5. The things we do for love. I'm the only one in our house who likes cauliflower, though I do try to make them eat it occasionally.

  6. Am not too fond of cauliflower myself, but yours looks very appealing.
    Aloo gobi parathas are the best, aren't they? ;-)

  7. Scented Sweetpeas.
    I wonder if you husband will like the look of this?! Have a lovely weekend.

    You are so welcome Rose. I think the terrine was really good. The cauliflower 'rice' was not bad either, but it was accompanied by Thai green curry.

    Thank you Catsngrams. Please do experiemnt with the cauliflower. You may find a differnt way you to enjoy it.

    Thanks Stephanie :D
    The things we do for love...AAAahhhh.
    Actually now you mention it - I don't mind cauli mixed with other vegetables like Thai green curry!

    Ha ha Jo.
    Disguise it a bit more and perhaps they'll eat cauli more in your house :D That's exactly what my mama did when i was little.

    You are so so right - Aloo gobi parathas are tasty. Gosh - I could eat some right now.

  8. Like you I am not a fan of this vegeetable but at least you have some inspiration recipes to try if my homegrown ones are successful.

  9. Kella,
    I hope you are successful growing cauliflowers. I haven't had much luck, but I am trying again with a vairety called Igloo.

  10. I love cauliflowers but I usually use them for stir fry or eat fresh with veggie dip! Thank you for sharing all these fantastic links to your cauliflower dishes, I will definitely give the cauliflower pancakes a try very soon:)

  11. Thanks Oraphan.
    I've never thought of having cauliflower with a dip, may consider giving that a go. I've picked up some more caulilflowers this weekend, so expect a couple more cauli recipes appearing here soon. The pancakes should be eater warm I think. I do hope you like them.


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