And so it begins! I’ve been neglecting the old ‘Culinary Antics’ page so my new little range of posts will focus what you can make with some of the world’s obscure, overlooked and generally under-appreciated fruit and veg! From the neglected cauliflower through to the humble banana, I’ve been researching and testing some of the weirdest little recipes I could find (or create) and deciding whether they’re worth the time of day. Most seem ridiculous at first, but the simple swapping of a tasty veggie in place of what would be the often stodgy flavour ‘transporter’ in the dish, such as pasta, bread or rice, adds flavour and lightens the load (so you can eat more of the good stuff!). I first thought of this wandering around the local SUSU farmers market which sets up on my University campus concourse every Monday, selling a huge array of breads, fruit and veg, Mediterranean delicacies and baked treats for pretty decent prices. One week I endeavoured to buy my normal haul but with some additional veg that I either thought I hated, or had never tried, to see if I could experiment and make something that I really loved. After realising how many things I enjoyed with the previously detested sprout, I was hooked and made it a weekly challenge!
So I’ve started with the cauliflower. It’s boring, it’s a bit odd, it doesn’t really smell that great, I associate it with school dinners and well…it’s white, not the most appetising of all the colourful wonders at the markets. But its also GREAT! The creamy, pale flesh can be roasted, grated, fried and blended into a plethora of different dishes, either as the primary taste or as a flavour absorber, especially for meats, lending a nutty undertone to the whole thing.
Here’s a picture of my prep for the cauliflower fried rice, grating with a handled grater worked really well in the a sense of a food processor.
- Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Sauce – so so creamy and yet no guilt over the indulgence of a cream-based pasta dish. I didn’t have any double cream so added cream cheese while in the blender, with some milk, garlic and vegetable stock!
- Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Bites
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- Morroccan Cauliflower Cous Cous – this is probably my highest reccomended, especially for a quick lunch to take to the library or work. Mix with dried or fresh fruits like pomegranate and currants or/and chopped fresh salad such as cucumber, mint and chickpeas to make it more filling. This recipe is flavoursome and vibrant, a sure-fire way to improve your day!
- Curried Cauliflower Fritters – Next on the ‘to-do’ list.
- (Undercover) Super-rich Cauliflower Risotto
- Red Pepper and Cauliflower Hummus
- Vietnamese Cauli-fried Rice – seriously this is amazing and perfect for when you’re not so hungry as to eat a pile of rice but need to use up a variety of things left in the fridge (my problem far too often). I grated the rice and added it to the a super hot wok with prawns and greens for a great late night meal!
I havent tried them all but I sincerely plan to, I am a real convert for cauliflower and stand by it’s versatility, frugality and most of all, taste!
Here’s a picture of my prep of my creamy cauliflower sauce made using my poor over-worked smoothie blender. I added spinach, spiralized goodies and some beefy meatballs for a really filling dinner! Hope you all enjoy experimenting too!