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
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
News
Williams says: 'The reason I got jobs was because they would blow the budget on the big guys - but they only had to pay me the price of a cup of tea'
arts + ents
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

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee