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This week I’m eating: cauliflower

Cauliflower has a really long season. It starts in autumn and goes right through to spring, and it’s damn good eating all the time. Brassicas. Seriously, is there anything they can’t do?

But when I think of cauliflower, I immediately go straight to cauliflower cheese. While I fully recommend the eating of cauliflower cheese at all times, it’s spring now and I really want food that’s a bit lighter – my taste for huge steaming bowls of cauliflower cheese is diminishing as the weather gets warming.

With that in mind, this week’s recipe explores options for cauliflower that are not cheese-based.

Cauliflower, broad bean and tahini salad

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 bag of broad beans, in their pods (alright, look I didn’t weigh them, just guess how many you’ll need)
  • handful each of coriander, parsley
  • sumac


  • 1 tbsp tahini paste
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper

First, make the dressing. Whisk together the tahini, mustard, lemon and vinegar. Then add the olive oil slowly, while still whisking, until you have achieved the desired dressing consistency (not too thick). Leave it aside.

Remove the broad beans from their pods and blanch for 2-3 minutes in boiling water. Drain immediately.

While you’re waiting for the broad beans to cool, cut the cauliflower into little florets, keeping a little of the stalk; this is quite important as you don’t want huge chunks of cauliflower. The florets should look graceful.

Parboil the cauliflower; exactly how long it will need depends on the size of your florets but, when cooked,  it should still be a bit firm. It won’t be longer than five minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Heat up some oil in a fry pan until it’s very hot. Fry the cauliflower in batches, turning occasionally; you want a few nice charred spots on each floret. Put it in a large serving bowl when you’re done.

Remove the broad beans from their second shell and place them in the serving bowl; add the chopped parsley and coriander. Add the dressing, which is probably more than you need, so be judicious; and sumac to taste. Stir. Serve.


Image by Nick Saltmarsh via Creative Commons Licence

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