For a while there it was courgetti that the blogosphere was raving about but maybe all the spirulisers have gotten broken or something because the latest vegetable to attain the popularity badge is the head of cauliflower.
I’ve always thought it an appealing looking vegetable, a perfect plump white crown nestled in a bed of green leaves. Talk about versatile, about the only thing you can’t do is spirulize it. Boiled, roasted and even crumbled into a rice substitute or moulded into a ‘pizza’ base it is a vessel awaiting your direction.
Steer this vegetable in any way you chose, as a side or as a main contender, it will deliver. Have you come across Cauliflower Steaks yet? Google them if you haven’t! Great thick slices panfried and savoured in place of a juicy striploin – I think not! Yes,I’m a fan of cauliflower but I’m not fanatical, steak it isn’t.
It’s a vegetable and lets just treat it like that. In this vegetarian curry I like to keep both the sweet potato and cauliflower bitey so be wary of cutting the sweet potato too small, keep it in large chunks. This recipe is from my cookbook ‘Enjoy!’
Cauliflower and Sweet Potato curry
You will need:
5 cardamom pods
1 medium onion
1 tbsp rapeseed or coconut oil
Thumb-sized chunk of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 large cauliflower (approx. 750g)
1 large sweet potato (approx. 500g)
500ml vegetable stock
Boiled rice, to serve (optional)
Bash the cardamom pods – a pestle and mortar is good for this job – to release the seeds and discard the husks.
Finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and soften the onions for 5 minutes.
Grate the ginger and crush the garlic, then add to the softened onion and mix well. Turn the heat up to medium and add the cardamom seeds, garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric and cook for 1 minute.
Break the cauliflower into florets and cut the sweet potato into large bite-size chunks. Add these to the pan, mixing well to coat with the spices, then add the passata and mix well.
Pour in the vegetable stock and enough water to almost cover the vegetables.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid almost covering the pan for 40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Serve as is or with rice.
Top Tip: Store ginger in the freezer and grate it, frozen and unpeeled, with a Microplane grater.
Enjoy!, ‘Til next time, Sheila.
I use couscous a lot as I love the texture and how you can oomph it up in the flavour department to take it in lots of different directions. It’s like the artist’s canvas just waiting for paint. This time I’m using up the last of the Jerk seasoning on roasted vegetables and adding the zest and juice of lemon and some chopped parsley for a deliciously simple dish. Eat with some roast chicken pieces or a spiced pork chop or an easier protein option would be some cubes of feta.
Jerk Roast Vegetable Couscous
You will need:
1 large red onion
1 red pepper
2 large carrots
2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
1 tbsp butter
250ml vegetable stock (hot – from cube is fine)
Small bunch curly parsley
Preheat the oven to 200C
Chop the carrots into batons, red onion into chunks and red peppers into slices and place on a baking tray.
Dust the vegetables generously with Jerk Seasoning and drizzle with 1 tbsp of oil then toss together and cook in the oven for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the couscous by first melting 1 tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat.
Add 250g couscous to the melted butter, stir well and cook for 1 minute.
Take the couscous saucepan off the heat and pour in 250mls hot vegetable stock, stir with a fork, cover with a lid or cling-film and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying or griddle pan over a medium heat, chop the courgette into slices and cook in the heated oil until turned golden on each side. Set aside.
Take the lid off the cooked couscous and use a fork to fluff up the grains.
Zest the lemon and then juice it and add both to the couscous and stir well.
Finely chop the parsley and stir through the couscous.
Once the jerk roast vegetables are finished cooking toss together in a large serving platter with the lemon and parsley couscous and the golden courgette slices.
‘Til next time, Sheila
If ‘con’ means with then ‘sin’ means without in Spanish – at least according to wikipedia. If it’s wrong you know who to blame and it isn’t me. So ‘Chilli Sin Carne’ is chilli without meat.
My eldest is in college, living away from home during the week and cooking for himself. Over the last few years he and his friends have become more interested in their diet and especially protein in the interests of bulking up. I blame you Conor McGregor. They are also pretty interested in going out which requires funds hence the lack of dosh for procuring premium beef. This is where a packet of Soya Mince pops up in the shopping trolley, a good alternative source of protein and cheap enough for a student on a budget.
Soya mince needs to be given a huge kick of flavour as it has none of it’s own, tasting like what I imagine sawdust would taste like but then I’m not about to prove that.
I’ve tried it successfully in this chilli recipe and didn’t tell the
guinea pigs kids what it was before they tried it and it went down well.
This is for you Johnnie:
Chilli Sin Carne
You will need:
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp mild chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
2 red peppers
2 tbsp tomato puree
100g soya mince
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin red kidney beans
500ml vegetable stock
Peel and finely chop the red onion.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan to a medium heat, add the onion turn down the heat and leave to soften for 5 minutes.
Peel and crush or mince the garlic cloves and add to the softening onion.
After a few minutes add the spices – chilli powder, coriander, paprika and oregano and stir well.
Deseed and cube the red peppers and add into the spiced onions.
Mix in the soya mince and tomato puree turning the heat up to medium stirring well, imparting flavour to the soya mince, after a couple of minutes add the chopped tomatoes, red kidney beans and vegetable stock. Raise the heat until it bubbles and then reduce heat to simmer for a further 20 minutes at least adding more water if it looks too dry.
Serve with rice.
Also good in a wrap with a dollop of sour cream and fresh chopped coriander.
‘Til next time, Sheila.