Do you remember the pungent smell of boiled cauliflower being plonked down in front of you at the dinner table as a kid? I do. It was right up there with tinned asparagus, brussels sprouts and the smoked oysters my parents used to break out during dinner parties at our house in the 80’s.
The only way I could eat cauliflower when I got a little older was smothered under lashings of cheese sauce and even then it was touch and go. However, the often ignored vegetable has enjoyed an renaissance of late and my taste buds have since come around.
The humble cauliflower has proven to be quite versatile popping up as a wheat- free alternative to traditional pizza bases and also as a cake ingredient by the wonderful Yotam Ottolenghi. These days I also enjoy them roasted with cumin and yoghurt – how times change! I’m now excited at having found another way of using cauliflower as ‘rice’. It’s a wonderfully light, gluten free alternative to regular rice or cous cous and grains such as quinoa.
This recipe is the result of some recipe testing I did for an upcoming edition of Latte Magazine and I was really pleased with result. Just like cous cous or rice, the cauliflower fully absorbs the flavours of the stock and spices you add to the mix which will be music to the ears of those still unsure about a foray back into cauliflower territory.
Eat this dish warm or cold, on its own as a full meal or as a side to grilled lamb or perhaps a chicken curry. Go on…I know you want to
Spicy Cauliflower with Roasted Pistachios
1 kg cauliflower florets
2 red birds eye chillies
2 tsp minced garlic
3 tsp minced ginger
1 small red onion chopped
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
½ cup chicken stock (or vegetable)
2 tsp mango chutney
1 cup spinach leaves
¼ cup fresh coriander chopped
- Place cauliflower in a food processer and pulse until rice sized crumbles
- Add onion, chilli and spices to a hot pan and cook for 5 minutes until fragrant
- Add cauliflower, chutney and chicken stock and stir for 5 minutes until tender
- Cool rice for 10 minutes then mix fresh coriander and spinach leaves. Top with roasted pistachios