3 ways to eat cauliflower

Weekend Breakfast With Alison Curtis

3 ways to eat cauliflower

TodayFM
TodayFM

8:58 AM - 7 Mar 2014



Domini Kemp and the team at ITSA now run the café in the National Gallery, Dublin. They’ve also opened an ITSA in Harvey Nichols, Dundrum and a new coffee store, Joe's, on Liffey Street in Arnotts.

Here are three yummy cauliflower recipes from Domini Kemp:

Roast cauliflower spaghetti

Serves 4

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Scrape nutmeg or pinch chilli flakes
  • A couple of knobs of butter (goat’s or regular)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Splash white wine
  • Basil leaves
  • 250 g – 300 g whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 50 g hazelnuts, lightly toasted
  • A scrape of hard goat’s cheese or Pecorino to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut the cauliflower into florets, give them a little rinse and shake off the water (you don’t want them steaming). Put  them into a roasting tin, sprinkle with half the olive oil and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg or chilli. Roast them for 20-30 minutes. You want a little char and a little crunch. Don’t fret about turning your oven up full blast and tweaking cooking times. You can toast your hazelnuts while your oven is preheating, but do keep an eye on them. They won't take kindly to full-blown temp of 200°C, so catch the oven on the way up.

Meanwhile, heat up your butter, add the garlic and then add the white wine and roughly chopped basil. Season and set aside.

Cook your spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water, drain, then add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil while draining and mix it with a pasta spoon or tongs so the oil will coat the spaghetti. Season with some salt and pepper. Put it back in the big saucepan and add the butter sauce and roasted cauliflower and toss. Spoon into bowls and season with the hazelnuts and some grated cheese.

Cauliflower, courgette and goat's cheese pizza

Serves 4-6

For the ‘base’:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Approx. 200 g soft goat’s cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

For the sauce:

  • Good glug olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, cored and roughly chopped
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tin tomato
  • 1-2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch smoked sweet paprika or cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper

For the topping:

  • 1 courgette
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Approx. 100 g of your favorite goat’s cheese

To make the base, remove the green stalks (these are good when you’re roasting cauliflower, but don’t work here!) and cut or break the florets into small pieces. Blend in a food processor on pulse mode until you make white ‘breadcrumbs’ that look alittle damp. Don’t over-process, but do make sure it’s fully ground up.

Then in a large bowl, mix with the goat’s cheese, thyme and egg. It’s almost like beating sugar and butter together with no electric beater. You can do it just with a spatula and it’s easier if the cheese is soft and at room temperature. Eventually you will feel that everything is reasonably well distributed.

Get a baking tray or brownie tin and generously line with parchment paper. Then spread the ‘dough’ onto the paper and pat down with the spatula. Put another sheet of parchment over it and smooth out the cauliflower with your flat hands so that it spreads out to about 1/2 inch thick. It’s almost like pushing play-dough or similar into the corners. You can chill and set aside or even overnight while the sauce is cooking away.

Cauliflower & Blue cheese soup

Serves 4-6

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled 7 sliced
  • Thyme leaves
  • Good knob butter
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1.5 litre vegetable or chicken stock
  • 250 g blue cheese (St Crozier or Cashel blue cheeses go really well with this soup)
  • 100 ml crème fraiche

Pear & bacon garnish

  • Knob butter
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 pears, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 streaky rashers, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • Splash red wine vinegar

To make the soup: sweat the onions, garlic, thyme in the butter, in a saucepan with a lid, until soft.  Break the cauliflower into florets.  Add to the saucepan along with the bay leaves and stock. Cook, covered for 20 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is soft.  Remove from the heat, add the blue cheese and crème fraiche.  Whizz with soup gun or in a food processor and then put back in the saucepan and check the seasoning.  Either cool down fully and then refrigerate and reheat the next day or else get the garnish ready and serve soup in big bowls with chunky bread, the pear & bacon in the centre along with a good sprinkling of parsley.

To make the garnish, simply heat the butter and sugar in a non stick frying pan and fry the pears and bacon until golden brown and caramelised.  Add the raisins and de-glaze the pan with some red wine vinegar.  Keep cooking so that it goes quite sticky and season with lots of black pepper.  

Tune into Saturday Breakfast with Alison Curtis to hear Domini chat about the recipes – Saturday from 8am



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