Saturday, 31 July 2010

Sunflower turning up to the skies

This is the first sunflower in my garden to open its little head. For the past two days I've been admiring and looking at it from the flat window.
Some apples hanging in on the tree. Still a long way from cooking with them.
Blueberries are fattening and beginning to ripen.
I've harvested all of the cauliflowers in the garden. Look they've begun to spurt. I should have harvested them a bit earlier, when I was boasting about them. Ah they'll still be edible in a soup or a bake.
Here's a 'Cauliflower and couscous roast' - an all in one dish. Not exactly cauliflower and cheese, but its packed with flavour from the capers, cheese and texture from the couscous and cauliflower. Although its creamy, its not claggy at all. Its actually quite light to eat.
Creamy cauliflower and couscous roast
Serves 4
500ml vegetable stock
700g cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 teaspoons mustard
25g butter
200g couscous
125g milk
100g light cream cheese
100g boursin cheese
2 tablespoon capers, rinsed
A handful of fresh chives, snipped
Cayenne pepper
In a large saucepan add the florets along with the stock and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add a pinch of salt, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is just tender. Strain the cauliflower over a bowl, reserving the liquid, then beat the mustard and butter into the liquid. Put the couscous into another bowl, pour the liquid over the couscous and let soak for about 5 minutes. Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer in an ovenproof dish.
Put the milk into a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Beat in the cream cheese to form a thick sauce, then pour over the cauliflower.
Fluff up the soaked couscous with a fork, then stir in the capers, Gruyere and chives. Spoon the couscous mixture over the cauliflower, sprinkle with cayenne and bake in a preheated oven at Gas mark 6 for 30 – 40 minutes until golden. Serve immediately. Adapted from New Kitchen Garden by Adam Kaplin with recipes by Celia Brooks Brown.
To end, some of you will have heard me mentioning the menacing skies in Scotland. Well there are evening when the skies here are magnificent. Look at these.
Taken in my garden few days ago. Sometimes the magic in the skies just take my breath away. Hope your all having a lovely weekend.


  1. The sunflower is simply gorgeous! Can't believe it's only just opening up now. Mine came and went a long time ago now... A yellow sunflower is always enough to brighten up any day and put a smile on my face

  2. Your recipes just get better and better. What a great idea to put the cous cous on top! I still havent got around to making cauliflour cheese.
    Your veggies and sunflowers are looking beautiful!


  3. I love the sunflower picture! And those are some nice skies! When I went to Scotland, it was nice and sunny. Hopefully it will be nice when I go again in a few years! :)

  4. Thank you Amy.
    Its the first, I have another 8 to open!
    I so agree - it does brighten up the day.

    Thank you so much Rose.
    I'm not a big fan of cauliflower cheese, but my husband certainly is

    Thank you for your comment Pauline.
    The weather in Scotland, the U.K in fact is pretty unpredictable, you certainly did get lucky with the weather :)

  5. The sunflower photo just brightened my morning! How beautiful, and you have more to come!

    Well I leaned a new word from your blog.."claggy")) but strangely, I know what you mean... maybe the Scot in me? The roast looks lovely, beautiful photos as usual!

    I have never seen cauliflower spurt like that, and wonder would they be like tender little sprouts?

    As for those beautiful skies...a beautiful sunset to end your today post...lovely.

  6. Thank you Gardeningbren.
    Yes, more to come,hopefully one of them will be taller than me (5'2).

    You made me smile, I didn't think anything of the word claggy which to me means 'stickily clinging', but it made me smile, that you learned a new word from me. :D

    Yes, I agree with you. I too have never seen cauliflower look like this. Shame really. Edible though. I should have renamed them 'sprouting cauliflower'.

    The skies are pretty. Shame we don't see these sunsets that often.

  7. The photos are so beautiful. You're right about the sky. There is something magical about it. I love the color and sometimes the gloom, but always the change.
    This recipe for Couscous and cauliflower sounds delicious. I will try it.
    Here's to sunflowers in the summer...

  8. Thank you so much Farmlady for your lovely comment.


  9. I also have sunflowers! Mine bloomed in June and now I am just waiting til the right time to harvest them for all their yummy seeds! My fruit is also coming in...I love summer! I swear growing your own food tastes 100 xs better!

  10. Jacklyn.
    Last year I donated all my seeds to the birds in the garden, unfortunately some of them turned rotten too. So it was hit and miss.

    Your so right, home grown food tastes so much better!

  11. How lovely! I just love sunflowers, they just seem like such a happy flower. They grow all over the freeways here, it's a nice view as I drive to work.

    I am so excited to move into our new home, we can start a garden, and I have to say that because of all your yummy cauliflower recipes I've decided I must have some of my own! Thanks!

  12. oh Chilean Woman,
    I agree, sunflwoers are such a happy flower. I guess thats why they encourage little ones to grow them from seed.

    Wow, growing all over freeways. That must be lovely to drive through.

    I'm so happy that you have space to grow veg in your new home. If you do grow cauliflowers, do try and cover them - otherwise the white cabbage butterfly will come and start laying her eggs! You don't want that, take my word for it.

  13. That is one lovely sunflower. I've never grown cauliflower--it didn't occur to me that it if not picked in time, it would go to seed. It actually looks pretty cool as it is sending it's flower shoots up. :)

  14. gorgeous photos there, oh how i wish i had blueberries ripening , ours did nothing this year :-(

  15. Thank you so much Kateri.
    I agree the sprouted cauliflower does look rather charming.

    Scented Sweetpeas.
    Thank you.
    I think you have to be patient with blueberries, I had nothig the first, second and very little the third year.


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