Cauliflower and Pear Bake (4-6)

A recipe from Israel to serve as a main with salad or to accompany roasts or kebabs. In 1980 I spent four months volunteering on Kibbutz Eynat in Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv. I mostly worked in the restaurant ( three shifts…) or bakery( nights) but they also grew cotton besides the runway at Tel Aviv airport. Volunteers were not meant to work there but we did, and it was my favourite job as we completed work by late morning leaving the rest of the day free. It involved a 5 am start and drive to the airport , then after a couple of hours we would take a breakfast break. We would finish by 11am because after that it was to too hot. Back to the kibbutz for lunch and an afternoon spent lounging by the pool.

The recipe is from ” Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East” by Arto Der Haroutunian.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry (4)

1 organic cauliflower2 tsp garam masala
3 medium onions, chopped courselyGood pinch chilli flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped1 tin chopped tomatoes
1” ginger, peeled & finely chopped1 tin organic chickpeas, drained
2 tsps ground coriander2 tbsps fresh coriander, chopped
2 star aniseedButter
Small handful fresh curry leaves 
Break the cauliflower into large florets, removing tough stalks. Cook the cauliflower in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain and return to pan. Cover to keep warm. Heat about 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Saute gently until golden brown. Add the dried spices and cook for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and chickpeas and stir well. Add the cauliflower plus 100ml cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked. Sprinkle in the chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice.

Orecchiette with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts (2)

Yesterday’s dinner was this most delicious cauliflower pasta recipe ( adapted for 2) from ” New Kitchen Basics” by Claire Thomson. Although by no means a vegetarian cookbook there are so many recipes for vegetarians in this book that i am cooking from it several times a week at the moment. You can use any short pasta such as conchiglie, rigatoni or fusilli but the orecchiette holds the sauce well. You can also use the cauliflower mix as a topping for bruschetta.

Roast Cauliflower Curry (4)

This is a recipe for cauliflower i could happily eat most days. Its from “Weligama”, a book of recipes from Sri Lanka, by Emily Dobbs. You can use a Romanesco head instead of the cauliflower if wished.

A variation is to make cauliflower spiced rice. Whizz all the ingredients apart from the herbs and nuts in a blender and cook by tossing in hot oil. Serve as an alternative to rice.