We have now eaten our way through fifteen cauliflowers and gifted another five – not an easy thing to do in lockdown. Five remaining and enthusiasm is waning. Most dishes have been successful, the biggest factor in ‘oh no not cauliflower ‘ is when it’s been twice in a row and it has become overkill.
One of the biggest successes was this surprising cauliflower salad. Of course it is blonde and not terribly interesting to look at but the flavours overide all these defects.
Roasted cauliflower, creamy borlotti beans, toasted pumpkin seeds. lightly pickled onions, crispy capers and crumbled feta make a sublime mouthful so if you have a cauliflower in the vegetable basket and the sun is shining I urge you to give this a go.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
1 small cauliflower
1 red onion
2tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
50g pumpkin seeds
1 can borlotti beans
a bunch of parsley would be good if you have some
125mls olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
cracked black pepper
Break the cauliflower into florets. Drizzle over a little olive oil and some salt. Toss well to combine then spread onto a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes. Allow to cool then chop the stems and break the florets into smaller pieces.
Peel the re onion, slice thinly. Put the vinegar into a bowl, stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt, add the onion and toss so that the rings separate and are coated in the mix. `leave aside for 15 minutes.
Heat a small dry frying pan, add the pumpkin seeds athen toast gently until they begin to pop and colour. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool
Rinse the capers and dry on a kitchen towel. Put enough oil in the bottom of a small frying pan to barely cover it then add the capers. Fry until the capers are crisp, 4-5 minutes. Tip onto clean sheet of kitchen paper and leave aside to cool.
Drain and rinse the borlotti beans.
Drain the vinegar and onion juices from the pickling onions. Put this in small bowl together with the Dijon mustard, mix together then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Taste and season with a little salt and cracked black pepper.
Put all of the cauliflower, onions, toasted pumpkin seeds and borlotti beans into a large bowl, crumble in the feta, and gently toss together. Sprinkle the crispy capers on top . Adjust the seasoning if you think it needs more salt, it might not need anything as both the feta and capers are salty.
Tonight we’ll be eating cauliflower in panko crumbs with halloumi – a recipe from Jess who writes for the Sunday Business Post. Her recipe was in fact for celeriac but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work with cauliflower. one thing that is certain is that cauliflower pairs perfectly with cheese. I’m looking forward to trying it which says something after our cauliflower binge. That’ll leave four more and who knows we might find a victim to pass one on to.
And now it’s time to set more seeds. We’re aiming for an autumn crop and for sure will try to get a spring crop again. It was a pleasure to have this surprise crop especially as not much else manages to grow over the winter.