What we talk about when we talk about cauliflower

As the UK approaches the ‘hungry gap’ in the year’s produce, I’m still way over excited about something you can grow and eat almost year-round, and that’s cauliflower.

So forget what you thought you knew: maligned to the sloppy cheesy roux sauce dishes of the world, cauliflower is actually one of the easiest and cheapest vegetables I’ve found that transform into a different beast entirely with just a little curry powder and oil.

Although I guess many think of the cauliflower as a traditionally British staple, most accounts cite it as originating from the Arab world. It’s high in vitamin C and B6, and maintains its nutrients better if you don’t boil it. For once cheese can take a back seat, because cauliflower truly shines when it is roasted, teamed with spices, oil and lemon juice.

Serves enough for 2, or maybe 3, but it’s really moreish. I’m saying 2.

1 cauliflower, curds (the florets) cut into large bitesize pieces
Sunflower or vegetable oil for roasting
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
Juice of one lemon
Salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Lightly coat a roasting dish with oil, then place in the chopped cauliflower. Sprinkle over the spices and seasoning, and mix well so it is lightly covered. You don’t want to lose the clean taste of the cauliflower beneath the curry spices.

Roast for around 30-40 minutes until the cauliflower pieces are soft and a little sticky at the edges. Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve hot. This tastes great added to a larger biryani dish or just with dahl and rice. Hell, it even tastes great with air.