James Street Cookery School: Two recipes to spice up the humble cauliflower

Spiced cauliflower, from James Street Cookery School
Niall McKenna

WITH the rise in popularity of veganism and vegetarianism, cauliflower is fast becoming one of the most prominent vegetables on supermarket shelves.

However, people tend to either just boil it to mush or make cauliflower cheese from it, when actually there are so many amazing recipes out there.

These two promise to add some excitement, flavour and spice to this humble vegetable.


(Serves 6 as a side vegetable, great with chicken)

1.5 litres chicken stock

750ml dry white wine

50g unsalted butter

60ml olive oil, extra virgin

1 bay leaf

2 tsp chilli flakes

1 tbsp fennel seed

2 tbsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1kg cauliflower head, trimmed with some leaves intact

Start by placing all the ingredients excluding the cauliflower in a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add in the cauliflower, reducing the heat to a simmer, then put the lid on and leave to cook for 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Check the cauliflower is soft using a skewer. When it is, drain, keeping back 200ml of the water.

Preheat your oven to 200C and place a greaseproof sheet on a roasting tray. Place the cauliflower on top, pour over the cooking liquid and then place in the oven for a further 25 minutes until golden.

Serve as a side dish to a main meal or with some herbed couscous and grains.


(Serves 4)

500g cauliflower, trimmed and roughly chopped

100g butter

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

800ml dry white wine

300g Arborio rice

1.5 litres warmed chicken stock or vegetable to keep vegetarian

sea salt

black pepper

sage leaves, picked from stalks to garnish

50g walnuts, chopped to garnish

Start by trimming off the cauliflower and chopping, roughly. Place in a food processor and whizz until like a fine rice.

Melt the butter in a large deep pan on a medium heat, add in the garlic and onion and cook until soft. Add in the wine and heat for a couple of minutes.

When cooking off the rice it is best to do this slowly, so first add in all the rice but then add the chicken stock just a ladle-full at a time. Once the rice has soaked up the liquid, add another ladle until all the stock is used. Once the stock is absorbed, add in the cauliflower and cook until it is warm throughout. This will only take minutes.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper. It is always good to serve a risotto with a cheese garnish and for this recipe, you can add a dollop of mascarpone to add to the taste and texture.

Serve and garnish with the picked sage leaves and walnuts.

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