SPICED CAULIFLOWER COUS COUS
The humble cauliflower is currently enjoying its time in the gastronomic spotlight as the latest ‘it’ ingredient. Thanks to celebrity chef / god, Yotam Ottolenghi, who is single handily responsible for vegetables #trending, and the ever-increasing popularity of the grain free Paleo diet, the cauliflower now shines on the dinner plates of many.
Just like a little black dress, the cauliflower is so versatile and you can easily dress it up or down depending on the occasion. It can be steamed and blended to form a silky, creamy puree, fried till crisp and golden, or blitzed to create what paleo aficionados call ‘couscous’ or ‘rice’. (Terminology that probably exists to make dieters feel comforted by the thought they are eating grains in the same way the people that ‘quit sugar’ are comforted by ‘sugar free’ desserts!) Call it what you will, I think it’s a funky and different way to serve cauliflower.
In this recipe I’ve allowed the cauliflower to take centre stage and paired its natural earthiness with a simple spice blend, pops of dried sweet currant and fragrant fresh herbs. You can also beef this recipe up, in a meat-free way, by adding some crumbled paneer cheese for extra texture. I reckon it’s a brilliant dish to take to a party or family function where you’ve been asked to bring a plate especially if you know that there will be guests with food intolerances attending, which is increasingly the norm.
With cauliflowers coming into season right now, its the perfect time to test out this recipe!
Enjoy… Dani x
SPICED CAULIFLOWER ‘COUS COUS’ WITH PANEER
Serves 10 at a family function
Takes about 20 minutes to prepare
Number of ingredients: 11
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 onion, finely diced or minced to form a paste
3 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced to form a paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup fresh herbs (parsley, coriander, mint), finely chopped
1/3 cup dried currants
½ cup sliced natural almonds or toasted pine nuts (or any nut really would work! )
½ cup fresh paneer cheese (see my video on how to make paneer)
HOW TO MAKE IT
Place cauliflower florets into food processor and blitz on high until cauliflower resembles cous cous, set aside. Don’t process for too long or too high as cauliflower will turn mushy rather than cous-cousy.
Place a large frypan over medium heat, add olive or coconut oil, when hot add onions and sauté for a few minutes then add garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add in spices and cook for a few more minutes stirring well to combine, add a little more oil if needed.
Add cauliflower and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 – 7 minutes, cauliflower should be just cooked through. Remove mixture from pan, add parsley, currants, almonds and paneer cheese, toss well to combine. Season with salt flakes and serve warm or cold.
This salad keeps nicely in the fridge for a few days, it’s a good one to also take to work.
Use whatever fresh herbs you have available to you.