Lunch with Alec, and a Cauliflower

Despite not even wanting to touch my food, Alec is pretty cool.  He was born on 6th June and belongs to my sister Sophie and her husband Ed.  He appeared at about the same time as the first signs of my cauliflower head (see below).  Sophie is keen for me to stress that that is where the similarity ends.

I went to see Alec and Sophie for lunch and took with me some fruits of our garden  Obviously the cauliflower, also some dwarf green beans and a few runner beans and Sophie brought to the table some delicious homemade bread.  I cooked up all the veg for the new mum and her unappreciative son so here are the recipes.  We didn’t quite manage to get through it all, but my brother then appeared and promptly polished the rest off.

Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel and Cumin

I would never have thought, ‘mmm, yum, i’d love some cauliflower’.  I might have about some other veg, but to be honest not once about a cauliflower.  Until we grew this one.  So in that respect, I’d never tried to think up anything interesting to do with it.  There’s the obvious cauliflower cheese, which admittedly in my mind was the one positive thing cauliflower had going for it (have a look at my Romanesco Cheese for a recipe), but I wanted something different.  So I stumbled across the idea of roasting it which sounded interesting and like it might do it some good.  So here goes what I came up with:

1 small head of cauliflower

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

pinch of chilli flakes

handful of hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 200c.  Bring a pan of salted water up to the boil.  Meanwhile cut the cauliflower into chunky florets.   Add to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain.  Toss with the cumin, fennel, chilli, hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Season and roast for 12-15 minutes (stir around halfway through), until it’s just starting to colour.  Either eat straight away or allow it to cool a little.  Delicious.

Mixed Beans with Borage

As I said the runnner beans and dwarf green beans were from our garden – the yellow beans left over from a job.  As for the borage… I saw that in Waitrose being pimped as their “Herb of the Month’ and not being that familiar with it, I thought I’d buy some and give it a try.  Quite frankly I was very disappointed as borage doesn’t seem to pack much punch of the taste side of things.  It does however look very pretty, so I added some solely as an edible garnish.

300g mixed beans – (I used runner, dwarf green and yellow)

2 tsps white wine vinegar

1 tsp grainy mustard

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Handful of borage

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil.  Add the beans and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender but still with a bit of bite.  Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and mustard and then slowly whisk in the oil, season.  Drain the beans and then toss with the dressing.  Mix through the borage and serve.

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