A versatile vegetable
The humble cauliflower is as delicious as it is healthy - a classic veg that has made a comeback in recent years.
High in vitamin C and a good source of folate and fibre, cauliflower has a delicate flavour and textured florets that open up as they cook, allowing spices and sauces to get in.
Available all year round, there's little you can't do with a cauliflower.
What can you do with cauliflower?
Char it and add it to salads for some crunch; roast whole or in florets; sear it; or even mash or rice it as a carb-free alternative to potato or rice.
- Smaller cauliflowers have more flavour.
- To check for freshness, look for a white, unblemished curd (the white head) with tightly clinging green leaves around it.
- Make a dip to accompany the cauliflower by adding dried or freshly chopped mint, pepper and a little lemon juice to 2 tbsp 0% fat Greek-style yogurt.
- Although cauliflowers are available all year round, their peak season is spring and autumn.
Five ways with cauliflower
...with a small amount of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place one whole cauliflower in a bowl with 4 tbsp olive oil and the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway, until al dente.
...by removing the outer leaves, cutting into quarters and blitzing in a food processor until it resembles the consistency of rice or couscous. Place in a heatproof bowl, add 1 tsp water, cover with cling film or a lid, and cook in a microwave for about three minutes.
Make a pizza base...
...by blitzing 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets, in a food processor until it resembles flour. Microwave for five minutes, or until tender. Then, using a clean tea towel, squeeze out all the moisture from the cauliflower until it's completely dry. Beat two eggs in a bowl, add the cauliflower and mix well. Roll out cauliflower dough and bake for around 40 minutes, before adding the topping and returning to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
...for a tasty soup. Boil 1 cauliflower, cut into florets, until tender. Drain, but reserve the cooking water. In a separate pan, gently saute a sliced medium-sized leek in 1 tbsp olive oil, until it begins to soften. Then, add two cloves garlic, crushed, and 1 tsp finely grated ginger. Place in a food processor with the cauliflower and half the cooking water, and blitz until smooth. Return to the pan and thicken by whisking in 100ml semi-skimmed milk.
...for a twist on bangers 'n' mash, or use it to top your favourite pies. Steam or boil florets until they're tender, then
mash using a potato ricer or puree in a food processor. While mixing, add 4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk and season well.
Top cauliflower recipes
Cauliflower and broccoli cheese
Mixed vegetable and bean curry