In case you hadn’t realised: it’s January. This means its a period of time where a plethora of people commit to changing their lives. Resolutions are made and are almost as swiftly broken. I’ve not made any concrete resolutions other than to read 24 books this year; so far I’ve completed two so I’m ahead of my target! In general I enjoy cooking and like to try and eat a relatively balanced diet; often gin in one hand and chocolate in the other! I also like exploring new foods and experimenting with ingredients to make new dishes.
But, there are some foods I dislike: prawns, cucumber, celery (and so on). Cauliflower is one of those foods I think I don’t like. Unless it’s smothered in cheese of course! I think it stems back from my parents over-cooking vegetables. Is there any worse texture than putting mushy broccoli or cauliflower in your mouth? I think not.
But, I feel like I am giving cauliflower a hard time. It can’t be that bad: it’s only a vegetable, it’s in season for most of the year in the UK and is apparently a very versatile ingredient (or so numerous blogs have led me to believe). I continuously try foods that I think I dislike in the hope that my tastebuds have changed. This definitely worked for wine and avocados so why not cauliflower? So, I’ve decided to give it a fair shot and will be chronicling my experiments with cauliflower over the coming weeks.
A friend of mine had told me about how she uses grated cauliflower instead of rice as it has fewer carbs and she generally just uses rice to bulk out a meal. Which got me thinking about using cauliflower in some kind of risotto or cous cous style dish. And so yesterday I experimented with creating a new meal from a cauliflower and some other ingredients from my cupboard. I’m not really sure what to call this dish. Maybe it is just “Fake cous-cous soupy goodness”? I’m not really selling it, but it was so simple to make and tasted delicious! And depending on which stock you use it can be vegetarian, and if you hold off adding cheese at the end then it’s also vegan!
Fake cauliflower cous-cous with spinach and mushrooms (3-4 portions)
- 1 large cauliflower head, blended in a food processor into fine “grains”
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 1 white onion, chopped finely
- 1 tin of butter beans, drained
- 500ml stock
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- 8 chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soft cheese for topping when served
- In a large saucepan, fry the onion and garlic in the oil for 3-4 minutes
- Add 1/2 can of butter beans and the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes
- Using a blender, blitz the ingredients in the saucepan to make a smooth sauce
- Add the cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach and the rest of the butter beans. Mix in and leave to simmer for 5 minutes
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with crumbled cheese on top.
Let me know if you give it a go or if you have a great cauliflower recipe I could try. For the next installment of Cauliflower Chronicles I’m going to try and use cauliflower to make a pizza base. I think this may be quite challenging so I will have to do some research to see what the best approach is first!