Two ways with roasted cauliflower
For Mother’s Day last year, my eldest son completed the sentence “I love my mummy because…” in the communal class card with “she makes me roasted cauliflower – my favourite!” – a statement that was endearing and cringe-worthy in equal measure. I could just imagine other parents rolling their eyes and wanting to gag, but the truth of the matter is that roasted cauliflower really IS his favourite food, and I am happy to indulge his love often. Here are two easy ways to enjoy this delicious brassica: with pickles or with pasta.
Raw pickled watermelon radishes
2 medium watermelon (also known as roseheart or red meat) radishes, scrubbed and sliced into thin discs or matchsticks
125ml (1/2 cup) water, preferably filtered
125ml (1/2 cup) apple cider vinegar, preferably unpasteurised such as this one or this one
30ml (2 tablespoons) honey, preferably raw
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
large pinch of red chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- Pack the radish slices or matchsticks into a medium canning jar or glass container with lid, that you have either washed in the dishwasher or rinsed with boiling water.
- Whisk together the rest of the ingredients until honey and salt are dissolved, and pour over the radishes. Seal with the lid and place in a cool place or the fridge for at least 24 hours before tasting.
- They will remain crunchy for only a few days, but keep well for several weeks in the fridge.
- Serve with roasted cauliflower or mixed into salads, on sandwiches and with cheese.
Roasted cauliflower and chard pasta
1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and separated into florets
1 medium onion, chopped
200g Swiss chard, trimmed, stalks finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 – 3 preserved lemons (depending on their size), flesh discarded and finely chopped
linguini or spaghetti for 6 people (I like wholemeal spelt or gluten-free quinoa pasta)
1 tablespoon hazelnut and chickpea dukkha per person to serve
extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Toss the cauliflower florets with some salt and coconut or olive oil, and roast until golden and tender (about 50 minutes to an hour), turning at least once.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, bring a large pot of water to boil and add the pasta. Cook at a gentle simmer until just tender (al dente). Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid for the sauce, and toss with sea salt and olive. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, sweat the onion and the chard stalks with a large pinch of salt in some olive oil over a gentle heat. Once softened, add the garlic and a few minutes later the chard leaves. As soon as they have wilted, remove from heat and set aside.
- When the cauliflower is cooked, pour some of the pasta cooking liquid into a blender or food processor, then add the roasted cauliflower, chard mix and preserved lemon peels. Blend until smooth, adding a little more liquid as necessary. Adjust seasoning and stir into the cooked pasta with most of the dukkha. Add a generous glug of olive oil and divide between 6 pasta bowls. Sprinkle over the rest of the dukkha and serve hot.