Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Tahini Dressing

Cauliflowers, roasted whole, have become a fashionable item for sometime – perhaps you might say it is going out of fashion, along with cauliflower steaks. But riced cauliflower still makes a regular appearance and I am glad about that – late onto the bandwagon as usual, I tried it for the first time recently and it is quite amazing.

So it is a surprise that Ottolenghi has a roasted whole cauliflower recipe in his new book Simple. And simple it is – par boiled then roasted with butter and oil before serving with a green tahini sauce. Elements of Ottolenghi, without all the hoohaa of his other books.

In a way, though, it is shockingly simple. It almost doesn’t feel quite right, doesn’t feel quite  like Ottolenghi. Even the style of the book has changed – the texture is different (different papers used), the layout is different. I am in 2 minds about the style changes – I wanted it to have all the lux of over-the-top Ottolenghi cookbooks, but with simpler recipes.

The book defines simple in 6 different ways (the first letters of which spell out SIMPLE), and each recipe is labelled to indicate which of these various simplicities it belongs to. For me, the most important simplicity is S ie Short on Time. In my household, somewhere between 6 and 8 dishes are made daily, so spending a minimum of 1 hour on an Ottolenghi dish does not make efficiency sense, even though we might adore the dish. HOWEVER, in defence of Ottolenghi’s other books, they contain recipes that can be a whole meal. That is not the case in Simple. TBH, you’d have to make 2 or 3 dishes to make a whole meal from Simple, or pair one dish with other plates of food.

Another first impression is that, reading through Simple, many of the recipes feel like half-recipes. That is not a criticism! It is a comment on the way he layers textures and flavours in his other books, and thus the simplicity of this book shocks! For example, take Whole Roasted Cauli. I might have expected Roasted Cauli, pureed, with cooked and toasted chickpeas, a tahini dressing and herb oil topped with baby falafel with a sumac dust. No, wait! That actually sounds great! (makes note to self). But here in Simple, we have only the cauliflower with a tahini dressing. It does make the recipes very accessible for weeknight cooking. And, for all its simplicity, this dish is a cracker!

Again, the comments on simplicity are not a criticism, it is an emotional response. We all have these when confronted with change. During my project of cooking Plenty More I often lamented the complexity (especially of time) and hankered after some Elizabeth David recipes. I have my wish now, although perhaps the style of Simple is a little like Elizabeth David on a small dose of steroids. She can specify recipes in 2 or 3 lines. Ottolenghi still takes a page or 2 for each dish.

Truthfully, I can’t wait to dive into this book and get to know it as intimately as I know the others.

“I like to serve this in the centre of the table, for people to share with drinks at the start of a meal. We break the cauliflower apart with our hands, dip the individual florets and crisp green leaves into the sauce and sprinkle with salt.”

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking through Plenty More (nearly finished), but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include A Plate of Cauliflower, Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, and Cauliflower Roasted with Mustard Seeds and Curry Leaves.

Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. As we cook more, you will find all of our dishes from Simple here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Burghul and Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts

Winter brings more substantial salads – no more Summery cubes of tomatoes tossed with cubes of cucumber and a layer of red onion rings. Enter salads with noodles, grains, lentils, dried beans. Barley, freekah, chickpeas – all perfect during winter.

Today’s salad uses Burghul. I really recommend you exploring your local Middle Eastern shop for their varieties of Burghul – there are at least half a dozen. Select one type that you want to experiment and play with.

Are you after other Burghul dishes? Try a Burghul and Chickpea Salad with Cherry TomatoesBurghul, Walnut and Tomato Salad, Quick Burghul Salad, Cauliflower and Burghul Kitchari and Mung Bean and Burghul Kitchari.

Or perhaps Cauliflower recipes? Try Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Pasta with Cauliflower Sauce, and a Plate of Cauliflower.

This is a Bittman Salad. For the past three years we have had a project of cooking through his 101 salads, and we are now in the 90’s. The end of this fantastic journey is in sight. We have made all of the vegetarian ones and modified as many of the non-vegetarian ones that was possible. After making so many salads, we are now committed daily salad eaters.

You can check all of our Bittman Salads here (more are scheduled for publishing, so check back in the future). All of our Burghul dishes are here, and all of our many many Salads. Or eat seasonally and explore our Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Burghul and Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts”

Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil

I roasted cauliflower for my daughter one day and she was delighted. She was not a fan of cauli, but eating it roasted was another experience. It changed her cauli-eating life.

Roasted cauliflower has a sweet, intense, nutty flavour.

This is the barest of recipes, to give you the gist of roasting cauliflower. And then you can play with it in any way that you like. Add toasted hazelnuts. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses. Throw tons of herbs at it. Roast garlic with it. Make a herb oil and drizzle over it. Eat hot. Cool it to room temperature and make a salad out of it. Add to pasta. Put it on a mezze or antipasto platter. Put in a tomato sauce. Or, eat it just as it is.

Are you after other Cauliflower recipes? Try Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Tahini Dressing, Aloo Gobi, Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Lime and Spices, and A Plate of Cauliflower.

You can browse all of our Cauliflower recipes and our roasted dishes. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes. Enjoy!

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Eggplant and Kale Pakora

Pakora are a favourite street food in India, and one that can easily be made at home. Recipes use a chickpea flour batter into which vegetables are dipped and then deep fried. I like to serve these Pakora with sea salt and lemon juice only, but they are commonly eaten with Indian sauces and chutneys.  One word describes them. Delicious. Incredibly delicious. Have a glass of chai with them – I also love them with a small cup of spicy rasam.

In frying the pakora (also called pakoda, bhajji and bhajiya) the aim is to cook the vegetable in the same amount of time that the batter takes to become crispy. It is about temperature, so it is a good idea to test-fry a few pieces before cooking the whole batch.

The types of vegetables that can be used include potatoes, onion rings, eggplant, sweet potatoes, softer pumpkins, lotus root, cauliflower and greens such as spinach, kale and amaranth leaves. Make sure that any greens are really dry before using.

Similar recipes include Malabar Spinach Pakora, Red Onion and Green Chilli Pakora, Okra and Cauliflower Pakora, and Vegetable Fritters.

Browse all of our Pakoras and all of our Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Raw Vegetable Salad with Mustard Mayo Dressing

A crunchy salad that lets the vegetables shine in a mustardy dressing of mayo thinned with vinegar and oil. It is an absolute delight. The dressing in this one takes an ordinary bowl of raw veg and turns it into heaven. I kid you not.

Ottolenghi and I always enjoy a crunchy salad like this one, I can tell, where the vegetables of the season are just chopped and thrown into a bowl with a fine vinaigrette. He says his Mother often made it for him when he visited home. The result is stunning; it captures the essence of the season and is why this salad should only be made with fresh, seasonal, top-notch vegetables. This really is crucial. Ditto the dressing: if you can use a good-quality sunflower oil – one that actually tastes of sunflower seeds – it will make a real difference. Thanks for that advice, Yotham.

It is such a wonderful salad, so healthy – a good salad to have after the xmas – new year over eating.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad, Raw Beetroot and Herb Salad, and White Radish Salad.

Browse all of our Cauliflower Salads and our Radish Salads. Our huge collection of Salads is here. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Celeriac Hummus with Spiced Cauliflower Tabouleh and Burrata

An article about the original talent behind the food at Nopi reveals a Malaysia-born Indian-Malay-Australian man, Scully. We can claim him as Australian as he lived and trained here before heading off to London. He sounds amazing, and the story of him teaching Ottolenghi “restaurant” and being taught “Ottolenghi” by Yotham is gorgeous. I have to say his Paprika Oven Chips are the most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted – or at least the family demands them often. Now Scully has his own restaurant – called, of course, Scully. I hear it is amazing!

This recipe from Nopi comes at a time that most of a celeriac bulb sits in the fridge – the way that most dishes come, right? I’d used a little of the bulb for another dish, and was idly searching for a new use. The idea that this puree is a great alternative to hummus was attractive. So, the puree can be made without the cauliflower topping, but, combined with the other elements, it makes a substantial starter or even a meal in itself, served with warm, crusty bread, pitta or other flatbread. For guests, make the puree and cauliflower in advance.

It is sort of Sully’s take on Hummus with Tabouleh – I have cheekily named it Celeriac Hummus with Cauliflower Tabouleh and Burrata. And it is a wonderful Sunday Brunch dish.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column and articles.

A note about ras el hanout – this is a warming but not hot  North African spice mix and recipes for it can contain 20 different spices. They vary from family to family.  A simple recipe is here if you can’t find it locally.

Similar dishes include Cauliflower Shawarma, Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad, and Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree.

Browse all of our Cauliflower dishes and all of our Celeriac recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Nopi are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Celeriac Hummus with Spiced Cauliflower Tabouleh and Burrata”

Cauliflower with Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies | Sukhi Gobi | Cauliflower Fry

This cauliflower dish is a simple, every day but glorious dish. Allowing the cauliflower florets to brown slightly brings that beautiful depth of flavour to the dish.

Cauliflower is such an under-rated vegetable. Cooked well, it really is a vegetable to yearn for. Recipes from the sub continent and the Middle East are especially respectful of cauliflower, bringing out its flavours and adding interest with spices and herbs.

This dish is simple, yes, but it lets the cauliflower shine. Serve with Lemon Rice.

Are you looking for more Cauliflower recipes? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, and Cauliflower Walnut Cream Soup.

For Indian Cauliflower Dishes, try Cauliflower Pilaf, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, and Aloo Gobi.

Would you like other Indian Vegetable dishes? Try Eggplants in a Creamy Peanut Sauce, Crispy Okra, and Spinach Thoran.

Browse all Cauliflower recipes and all Indian dishes. Or take some time to browse all of our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Cauliflower with Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies | Sukhi Gobi | Cauliflower Fry”

Cauliflower “Shawarma” with Pomegranate and Tahini

Cauliflower has been used for ages as a vegetarian answer to the classic Middle Eastern Shawarma recipe. The cauliflower is roasted with a range of spices including toasted cumin and coriander, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and sumac. In this recipe, the cauliflower is then dressed with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts and rose petals. Beautiful Middle Eastern flavours.

This particular recipe, they say, originally came from Josh Katz of Berber and Q, and it is such a beautiful dish. It has sweetness, tartness, creaminess, ‘burntness’ (umami), warmness from the spices and a fragrance that brings the bazaars of the Middle East to your table. Its such a great dish.

Are you looking for Cauliflower recipes? Try Burghul and Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, Cauliflower Kitchari and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Lime and Spices.

Or some Middle Eastern recipes? Try Rice and Orzo, Saffron and Rose Scented Aubergines, and Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate Molasses.

You can also browse all of our Cauliflower Recipes, all of our Middle Eastern Recipes and all of our Pomegranate dishes. Or take some time to check out our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Cauliflower, Mango or Papaya and Curried Chickpea Salad

Curried chickpeas, ie chickpeas with Indian spices, are always delicious, no matter what form they take. Here, we are not constructing an Indian dish but using curried chickpeas in a salad that you are going to love. The curried chickpeas are mixed with browned onions, cauliflower florets, and either mangoes or papaya, – truly a delicious salad that can be eaten warm or cold.

The recipe is from Ottolenghi. In the original dish he uses Alphonso Mangoes, those intensely flavoured Kings of Mangoes available in India during Mango season, and shipped to some countries outside of India. Sadly and despite the large Indian population here, it is rare to find them. I have only seen them once, and promptly bought a whole tray.

Use any other ripe mango if you can’t get Alphonso. Or if you want to make this outside of mango season, our substitute is to use papaya. It doesn’t bring that same intensity of flavour that mangoes do yet it is surprisingly delicious. We always feel free in Ottolenghi recipes to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. Add plenty of lime juice to the salad, it makes a difference.

Always taste as you go, and particularly so with this recipe. Ottolenghi specifies curry powder in the ingredients, but curry powders range from very hot to quite mild. You might like to adjust your green chilli level, for example, if you are using a hot curry powder. Also add more lime if this is the case – perhaps some lime zest too.

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Cauliflower ShawarmaCauliflower with Lime and Spices, Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta, and Chickpea Tabbouleh.

Browse all of our Chickpea Salads and Papaya dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Cauliflower, Mango or Papaya and Curried Chickpea Salad”

Cauliflower Roasted with Black Mustard Seed, Cumin Seed and Curry Leaves

Today we take some cauliflower and toss it in oil in which black mustard seeds and cumin seeds have been popped, and curry leaves which have been allowed to sizzle, then roast the florets until gorgeously brown. It is a little bit of South India on a Western plate.

What’s not to like about Roasted Cauliflower? This one is terrific. The hit of lime juice at the end is a winner, lifting and freshening the dish.

Similar recipes include Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Zaatar, Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Cauliflower Roasted with Black Mustard Seed, Cumin Seed and Curry Leaves”