Cauliflower power: Skye Gyngell adds the cauli's creamy white curds to salads and purées

It may be Britain's most unfashionable vegetable, but the cauli's creamy white curds work so well in salads and purées, says Skye Gyngell

Creamy white clusters enfurled by the palest green leaves: cauliflower is both flavoursome and beautiful. From silky smooth soups to simple purées and salads, this humble, very English vegetable can be a wonderful addition to any table.

When buying cauliflower, look for firm, creamy plump curds – its tightly wrapped flowers – without any dark spots, along with fresh-looking leaves.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3627, petershamnurseries.com

Salad of cauliflower, black olives, feta cheese and tomatoes

Serves 4

200g/7oz feta
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 head of cauliflower, broken into one-inch florets
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 bunch of mint, leaves only
50g/2oz black olives
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the feta into thin slices and sprinkle with the oregano. Now cook the cauliflower florets for four minutes in boiling water, then drain and place into a bowl. Allow to cool slightly then drizzle over the oil and vinegar and mix together well. Once the cauliflower is back to room temperature, add all the other ingredients to the bowl and toss lightly. Season to taste and arrange artfully on plates. Serve at once.

Seabass with cauliflower purée and marjoram butter

Serves 4

1 head of cauliflower
20g/3/4 oz unsalted butter
200ml/7fl oz double cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 x 200g/7oz fillets of sea bass, skin left on
Olive oil for brushing
70g/3oz unsalted butter
1 small bunch of marjoram

Boil a generous-sized pan of well-salted water. Cut the cauliflower into regular-sized chunks and plunge into the water for 10 minutes or until it is soft and falling apart. Remove from the stove and drain in a colander. Place the cauliflower, butter and cream into the bowl of a food processor and purée until very smooth. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside in a warm place.

Place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Brush the sea bass with the olive oil and cook skin-side down for three to four minutes or until golden-brown and very crisp. Turn and cook for two minutes on the other side. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Put the butter and marjoram in the pan and cook over until the butter has melted completely and just coloured slightly. Remove from the stove, divide the purée equally between four plates, place the fish on top, and spoon over the warm butter. Serve at once, accompanied by a wedge of lemon.

Cauliflower with Dijon mustard and sourdough breadcrumbs

This is a quick, simple and delicious way to serve cauliflower, similar in many ways to cauliflower cheese, but lighter. Pair with roast chicken or any other white meat. Sourdough has a lovely flavour; make the breadcrumbs by pulsing broken-up slices in a food processor.

Serves 4

1 head of cauliflower
20g/1oz unsalted butter
200ml/7fl oz double cream
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
5 sprigs of thyme
25g/1oz freshly toasted breadcrumbs
1 tbsp grated Parmesan
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the cauliflower into generous-sized florets; try to keep the stem on, as it has a wonderful, slightly firmer texture. Boil a large pot of well-salted water, add the cauliflower and cook for three to four minutes – it should be just tender when pierced. Drain and set aside. While the cauliflower is cooking, put the butter, cream, mustard and thyme into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the cream is boiling, turn down the heat and simmer for two to three minutes. Season generously with pepper and add a pinch of salt. Put the cauliflower in a serving dish and pour over the cream. Sprinkle over the crumbs and Parmesan and serve.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment