Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Cauliflower Pizza Experiment


I came across this odd sounding recipe for cauliflower pizza in my new cookbook, The Green Kitchen.

We just so happened to have a cauliflower in the house which had been destined for pakoras but this sounded so curious I had to try it

The recipe is very simple, just four ingredients – cauliflower, ground almonds, oregano and eggs. The cauliflower is blitzed to a fine crumb – raw – and then mixed with beaten eggs, ground almonds and oregano and squished onto a baking tray. My mix behaved very well and squished out nicely .


I baked it in the oven for about fifteen minutes.Then I filled it with sauteed  red onions and sweet little courgettes, mint and chevre (creamy goats cheese)and finished it off under the grill.


When it was ready I headed off to the Cultural Brunch In Clonakilty which is a gathering of people who all bring a dish from the country they come from to share. I’m not sure where that put me countrywise but everyone that was there was a very good guinea pig.

The pizza was sliced, could be picked up and eaten like any normal slice of pizza and it tasted delicious!

Funny thing was, when I got home I found the ground almonds still sitting in the weighing scales!!

What the squid ate for dinner!

Barcelona Allotment

I’m back in Barcelona and yesterday we spent a day out of the city at the allotment. This involves the metro and a train journey. Walking out of the station it all sounded so different – no wah wahs, no traffic or bustling people, just a lot of space and birdsong. We walked from the station through the small town of Molins de Rei, then along paths through fields of wildflowers to the allotments.


I last saw the allotment in November when it left a lot to the imagination. It had just been taken over and was  a patch of thistles and weeds. Some trojan work has happened since then and it is now a slug free paradise where all the vegetables are four times size the size of mine. At least four times the size of mine as most of the vegetables in our garden are far from the stage where they will land on a plate.


And no slugs! They just aren’t a problem here. Apparently their cousins, the snail, can be a pest but it’s so dry it just isn’t a good terrain for something that relies on slime to get around.

The vegetables look really healthy. There’s been enough rain this spring to keep everything lush and green and there are beds of pert looking onions and garlic, chard, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines. beans, peas, salads and herbs .

Our friends were already hard at work when we arrived. They had also installed a large bucket full of ice, chilled water and beer to go with the picnic we had all bought along. We settled in under the trees – no self respecting Spaniard would sit in the sun – and ate the picnic before tackling the weeds, picking and watering. There weren’t many weeds to be honest. Another perk of a drier climate but the watering is a mammoth task. The vegetables are planted in beds with little moats between to hold the water and it’s a serious business ensuring there’s enough for everything to prosper. This was the job that I volunteered for, watering being an A1 all round tanning opportunity, whilst the rest of the team set to picking the beans and peas


We headed back to the city with an enormous bag of vegetables for our dinner.


Dinner from the Bottom of the Vegetable Basket


The day disappeared yesterday while i was busy in the garden and when I arrived in the kitchen clutching an armful of spring greens I discovered there was very little else in the vegetable basket. Two small sweet potatoes, a handful of carrots that had seen better days and the butt end of a butternut squash. The family began to look slightly agitated, wondering if dinner was going to happen, so i had to do some quick thinking

I turned the oven on, peeled the veggies and tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper and put them into the oven to roast. Next I put a pot of water to boil, weighed out some polenta (ground maize) and grated some parmesan. as soon as the water boiled I whisked in the polenta. I let it cook for a few minutes before taking it off the heat and beating in the Parmesan cheese and a knob of butter, salt and pepper.I poured it onto a large tray and left it to cool. The spring greens were rinsed under the tap and cut into ribbons. I chopped a couple of cloves of garlic to stir fry with the greens. By now the veggies were just about cooked so I whacked on the grill pan to heat, cut the polenta into wedges and drizzled with a little olive oil.This is where the multi tasking kicked in. Once the grill pan was hot I put the polenta wedges on to cook and lit the gas under the wok for the greens. For the greens I added a little oil and a scanty teaspoonful of flaked chilli, a teaspoon of fennel seeds and the chopped garlic. These got a quick whirl before I threw in the greens to stir fry and then I flipped the polenta to cook the other side. Once the greens had wilted down I added a little soya sauce and a splash of water to finish them off.

Onto the plates went a pile of chilli greens, a couple of wedges of polenta and a little heap of roasted veggies, To top it off I dropped a spoonful of Greek yoghurt on top and drizzled a little rocket pesto around.


It looked pretty posh and tasted delicious!