Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Spicy Coconut Cauliflower

Cumin-scented cauliflower, yellow from turmeric, cooks with Canalside chile and a subtle coconut-poppy seed glaze. The result is spicy, satisfying and beautiful. Eat it topped with toasted almonds, fresh coriander, yoghurt and a squeeze of lime. Yotam recommends serving with flatbread, but it’s pretty delicious just on its own.

Poppy-Seed Cauliflower with Coconut
Serves 2

Ingredients
40g poppy seeds
60ml sunflower oil
½ – 1 Canalside dried red chile, de-seeded if desired, and shredded
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced fine
1 large cauliflower and leaves, broken into 4cm-sized florets, leaves shredded
150ml coconut milk (approx.)
To serve
1 handful fresh coriander, shredded
1 small handful flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
plain yoghurt
1 lime, halved

Preparation
Put the poppy seeds in a small bowl. Pour over just enough boiling water to cover them. Leave them for half an hour, and then whiz them in a blender or food processor, or crush them in a mortar and pestle, so that they begin to break up a bit. Set aside.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan for which you have a lid. When it is hot add the chile, turmeric, cumin and garlic. Turn the heat to medium and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic starts to brown and the mixture gives off a nice smell.
Add the cauliflower leaves and florets and toss with the spices. Stir for 2 minutes, until the cauliflower has turned an attractive yellow.
Add the coconut milk and the poppy seeds. Add enough coconut milk to make a little sauce, but not so much that it is soupy. Turn the heat down a little and cover. Cook for 4 more minutes, until the cauliflower has begun to soften.
Uncover and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook for 8 more minutes, stirring regularly, until the cauliflower is tender and has begun to caramelise and the liquid has evaporated.
Serve topped with fresh coriander, toasted almonds, yoghurt and a squeeze of lime.

Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, The Guardian, 16 Feb. 2019.

Ali’s Recipe of the Week: One for the Store-cupboard

Rebecca’s having a break this week and hopes to be back with another recipe next week.

With the cauliflower crop getting going, the moment may have arrived to do the first preserving of the year (that is, if you haven’t already made marmalade, perhaps using some delicious La Jimena seville oranges).

Piccalilli is as versatile as any savoury preserve in that you can flex the recipe according to what is available. Most piccalilli recipes call for courgettes, green beans, tomatoes, and other summer veg. However, if all you have is roots and PSB (purple sprouting broccoli) that combination will also make a perfectly good version of this tangy preserve. Luckily my book of preserves from the Women’s Institute can oblige with a suitably flexible recipe for any time of year! I’ve been know to make a version with cauliflower, onions (admittedly these are perhaps the two essential vegetables), carrot and swede!

Many piccalilli recipes call for the vegetables to be brined overnight, but this one breaks that rule, which simplifies the recipe and results in a delicious accompaniment for a ploughman’s lunch. And unlike chutneys which rely on evaporation of the liquid to thicken the preserve (which can sometimes take hours), as this one is thickened with flour it has a much shorter cooking time.

Accommodating Piccalilli from the W.I.
Makes about 2.7kg (6lb) = 6 average sized jam jars
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
450g (1lb) pickling onions – if you’ve still got any little Canalside onions left, they’d be perfect!
1.4L (2 1/2 pints) white malt vinegar (apple cider vinegar also works well)
900g (2lb) mixed vegetables, diced or cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) lengths
2 fat cloves of garlic
450g (1lb) caster sugar
50g (2oz) dry mustard (i.e. mustard powder)
115g (4oz) plain white flour, sieved
25g (1oz) ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp salt

Preparation
In a large preserving pan, summer the cauliflower and onions in 1.1litres (2 pints) of the vinegar for 10 minutes.

Add the other vegetables, garlic and sugar and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Mix the mustard, flour. spices and salt with the remaining vinegar and add to the cooked vegetables, stirring all the time to prevent lumps from forming.

Stir well and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Spoon into cooled and sterilised jars and cover with vinegar proof tops. Label and store for at least 2 weeks before using. It will keep for months (I think I’ve even kept it for more than a year) with the flavour improving and mellowing as it ages.

From ‘Best Kept Secrets of the Women’s Institute: Jams, Pickles and Preserves’ by Midge Thomas

Rebecca’s recipe of the week: A Very Pleasant Soup (made with carrot and cauliflower)

This week’s recipe is for a really nice carrot and cauliflower soup.

Lemony Carrot and Cauliflower Soup
Serves 4

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons white miso
1 small cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
a little more olive oil, for serving
smoked paprika, for serving
coarse sea salt, for serving
coriander leaves, chopped, for serving

In a large, dry pot over medium heat, toast coriander seeds for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant and dark golden-brown. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and crush coarsely.
Return the pot to medium heat. Add the oil and heat until warm. Stir in onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly coloured, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Add carrots, crushed coriander seeds, salt and 6 cups water to the pot. Stir in the miso until it dissolves. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. You can of course also use a blender.
When you’re ready to serve, stir in the lemon zest and juice, drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with paprika, sea salt and coriander.

(Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking.)

Rebecca’s recipe of the week: Super Noodles!

This recipe can be made with either cauliflower or sprouting broccoli. Do you have any coriander left over from last week? Use it here!
Frying tofu transforms it from soft (and bland) to crispy and very, very tasty. ‘Keep your hands off that tofu!’ I had to tell my sons whenever I made this, or else there wouldn’t be any left to add to the finished dish.

Coriander Noodle Bowl
Serves 4.

one Canalside cauliflower or 120g sprouting broccoli
1 bunch of fresh coriander
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
2 large cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
150ml olive oil (for the dressing)
250g soba noodles
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil (for frying the tofu)
280g firm tofu (this is the weight of a standard packet of tofu, but you don’t need to be precise about getting exactly this amount)

Cut the cauliflower into nice, bite-sized florets. If you’re using sprouting broccoli split any very thick pieces into thinner sprigs.

Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil.

Meanwhile, make a dressing: blend the coriander, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne, salt and olive oil together using a food processor or hand blender, or, if you’re so inclined, you can chop them together by hand. Taste it to see if it needs any more salt, or perhaps some more lemon juice. If it’s too thick you can add more olive oil. Once you’re happy with the taste set it aside while you cook the noodles and vegetables.

Cook the soba noodles in the boiling water. They should take about six-eight minutes to cook but check the packet.

WHEN THEY ARE NEARLY TENDER (about a minute or so before they are done) ADD THE CAULIFLOWER OR BROCCOLI and cook for the noodles and vegetables together for a final minute or so. You don’t want to really cook the vegetables much. (Unless you hate very al-dente vegetables—in that case add them sooner and cook them longer.)

Drain the noodles and vegetables and toss with the dressing. Set aside while you prepare the tofu.

Slice up the tofu as if you were making chips. You can make thin or thick sticks, as you prefer.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until it’s hot, and fry the tofu, a little at a time. Turn it carefully so that all sizes get nicely crispy and golden. Remove the crispy bits as they cook and add them to your noodle mixture.

When all the tofu has been fried toss everything together and serve.

(adapted from 101 Cookbooks.)

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