Of late there has been something of an explosion of all things cauliflower.
Previously, most members of the public have only been aware of two ways of preparing the brain-shaped veg for human consumption.
Cauliflower cheese – which involves boiling the cauliflower and serving it with cheese sauce.
Curried cauliflower – which involves boiling the cauliflower and serving it with curry sauce.
But the much maligned nuclear mushroom cloud shaped brassica has attracted a whole new legion of fans thanks to the discovery that roasting the cauli transforms it into a kick ass star of the midweek table.
If you fancy leaping aboard the cauliflower express, try this for size:
Spiced whole cauliflower and warm chickpea salad:
Create a marinade of half a teaspoon of turmeric, garam masala, one teaspoon of grated ginger, two crushed garlic cloves, 140g of full fat yogurt, two tablespoons of finely chopped coriander stems.
Coat the whole cauliflower with marinade with your hands and place it in an oiled roasting dish. Ramp up the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and then cook for 30 mins until the topping is set.
Then splash 100ml of water into the tin and cover loosely with foil before returning to the oven to let steam for 30mins. While all that’s happening, toss the chickpeas, onion, spices and some seasoning together. Uncover the cauliflower, scatter in the chickpea mixture around it and roast for a further 20 minutes until the onion is tender and the chickpeas are beginning to crisp up.
Stir yoghurt and coconut cream together to make a goopy dressing and season before folding in tomatoes, coriander and lemon juice to serve. While you are eating it, you can marvel at the fractal properties of the humble cauliflower – in that every branch or ‘module’ of the veg is similar to the entire cauliflower. Food for thought as well as the body.