In our last column we talked about that famous ‘flower’, broccoli, so it is only fitting that we devote this one to a close cousin, the cauliflower.
Cauliflower is one ‘hot’ vegetable right now. With Paleo and low carb, high fat dietary options becoming more popular, recipes for cauliflower are everywhere.
Cauliflower is a great substitute for starchy fillers like potato and rice. It is low in fat, low in carbohydrates and high in dietary fibre, folate, water, and vitamin C, possessing a high nutritional density. Cauliflower is also a very versatile vegetable. It can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, sautéed or eaten raw. When cooking, the outer leaves and thick stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible, but are most often discarded.
Cauliflower Rice is one of our go-to dishes but whole roasted cauliflower and cauliflower mash are a couple of other excellent basic examples.
– Grow in seed trays, in batches, and plant out after 4-6 weeks. The best time to plant cauliflower seedlings in the garden is in May.
– Space plants 60cm–100cm apart
– Cauliflower need full sun and rich, firm, fertile soil
– Good companions are rosemary, thyme, sage, onions, garlic and silverbeet.
– If, like us, you always plant way too many, a general guide is around two plants per person in the household.
– Cabbage white butterflies are the number one pest. You can protect your brassicas naturally by making a chilli spray or dusting with household flour.
Cauliflower pizza base
1 large head of cauliflower
¾ cup of ground almonds
1½ Tbsp dried oregano
Preheat your oven to 180°C fan bake. Mix your Chia seeds in with the water and place in your fridge 20 minutes before intended use to make a Chia gel. Chop the cauliflower, and place in a blender or food processor and blend until it is a fine rice-like texture. Measure out around three cups and place into a large bowl, add the ground almonds, oregano, salt, and pepper. Make a hole in the centre and add the Chia gel. Combine the ingredients by hand and shape everything together into a ball. It should be loose and sticky, not like a traditional dough. Put the ball of dough onto a baking tray and form into a flat crust with your hands. Make a ridge around the outside, and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Add your favourite tomato base and toppings. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes and enjoy your healthy meal.