The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

A trio of tasty cauliflowe­r recipes

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1. Sri Lankan-style curried cauliflowe­r Ingredient­s

Serves 4

• 2 red onions

• 3 garlic cloves

• 10g piece fresh ginger, peeled

• 1 red chilli – approx 15g

• 30g cashew nuts

• 30g blanched almonds

• 1 tsp ground cumin

• 1 tsp paprika

• 2 tsp curry powder

• 400ml coconut milk

• 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

• 1 lemon

• Sea salt and black pepper

• 1 cauliflowe­r

• 400g tin of chickpeas

• 100g baby spinach leaves

• 35ml rapeseed oil

Directions

Peel the onions, halve and thinly slice.

Peel and mince the garlic. Grate or finely chop the ginger.

Finely chop the chilli along with the seeds.

In a wok, sauté the onions in the oil for 4 minutes on a low heat. Add the nuts and cook another minute.

Add the chilli, garlic, ginger, ground cumin, paprika and curry powder.

Cook on a low heat for 1 minute, stirring as you cook. Then, add the coconut milk and the chopped tomatoes.

Grate the lemon and juice – add the rind and juice to the curry sauce. Bring the sauce to the boil, season with some salt and plenty of black pepper.

Cut the cauliflowe­r into eighths and add to the sauce. Drain the chickpeas and add to the wok. Gently cook for about 25 mins till the cauliflowe­r is just cooked and the sauce has thickened.

Then add the spinach leaves, stir through and cook another 5 mins.

Serve alongside some basmati rice.

• Recipe from Aldi.

2. Hot cauli bites Ingredient­s

Serves 4

• 100g plain flour

• 1 tsp jerk spice mix

• ½ tsp garlic powder

• 175ml oat milk

• 1 whole cauliflowe­r, leaves removed, broken into large bite-size florets

• ½-1 tsp hot sauce, to taste (it’s pretty hot!)

• 1 tbsp maple syrup

• 1 tsp sunflower oil

• Salt and black pepper

Directions

To make the batter, mix together plain flour, jerk spice mix, garlic powder and oat milk in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 170C Fan/190°C/375F/Gas Mark 5. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Dip the cauliflowe­r florets, one at a time, into the thick, spicy batter until coated all over. Let them drip a little over the bowl to remove any excess batter, then place them slightly spaced apart on the lined baking tray.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until light golden all over and the batter sets.

Meanwhile, mix together the hot sauce, maple syrup and sunflower oil.

Carefully remove the baking tray from the oven. Brush the hot sauce mixture over the cauliflowe­r bites until coated, then put the tray back in the oven for another 20 minutes until golden.

Place in a serving bowl then tuck in, dunking them into a sweet chilli mayo, if you like.

• Recipe from Omari McQueen’s Best Bites Cookbook by Omari McQueen, photograph­y by Xavier Buendia, published by Scholastic UK, priced £12.99. Available now.

3. Roasted cauliflowe­r, preserved lemon and chilli pasta

Ingredient­s

Serves 4

• 1 medium cauliflowe­r, cut into florets, and the inner leaves

• 100ml olive oil, plus 1 tbsp for roasting the cauliflowe­r

• 40g rye bread, blitzed into breadcrumb­s

• 250g ditali pasta, macaroni, mezzi rigatoni or orecchiett­e

• 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 1 dried chilli, crushed

• 3 free-range egg yolks

• 200g sour cream

• 80g Parmesan, grated

• Large handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped

• 2 preserved lemons, pips removed and skin thinly sliced

• Grated zest of 1 lemon

• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven as hot as it can go (about 260C/ 240C fan/500F/Gas mark 10). Spread the cauliflowe­r florets and leaves on a baking tray and drizzle over the tablespoon of olive oil.

Season with a teaspoon of salt, mix with your hands so that all the cauliflowe­r is evenly coated in the oil and place in the roasting-hot oven for 15 minutes until cooked through and nicely browned, even slightly charred.

Once the cauliflowe­r is in the oven, heat half the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the breadcrumb­s and fry for about four minutes until crisp and golden, then transfer to kitchen paper to drain off excess oil and keep them crispy. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in a saucepan of well-salted boiling water for a couple of minutes less than the time stated on the packet (you will finish cooking it with the sauce).

While the pasta’s cooking, heat the remaining oil in a separate frying pan with the garlic and chilli and cook gently for five minutes, until softened. Set aside.

Drain the pasta, reserving 100ml of the pasta water, and return the pasta to the pan.

Whisk the egg yolks, cream and Parmesan together in a bowl. Place the pasta pan back over a medium heat and stir in the egg mixture, followed by the garlic and chilli oil, parsley, preserved lemons, lemon zest and a generous pinch of black pepper.

Mix well over the heat for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens slightly, check for seasoning and stir through the roasted cauliflowe­r.

Serve immediatel­y, with the breadcrumb­s sprinkled on top and, if you’re like me, an extra grating of Parmesan.

• Restore: A Modern Guide To Sustainabl­e Eating by Gizzi Erskine, photograph­y by Issy Croker, published by HQ, priced £25. Available now.

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