Wednesday , December 8 2021

A celebration of cauliflower

By David Bell, of Park Farm Hotel, Hethersett 


1 large white cauliflower
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
2 pints of milk
1 pint of double cream
1 glass of dry white wine
2tbsp of Colman’s English mustard
100g of mature cheddar, grated
a pinch of saffron
100g of salted butter
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
15g of mixed nuts and seeds
1tsp of brown sugar
2tsp of honey
rock salt and ground black pepper for seasoning

Serves 4 – 6


Start by breaking down the cauliflower into florets, removing the outer leaves and veins, and washing. Keep the trimmings to one side and reserve a floret (unblanched) to make crisps with later.

Cut the pearls out of the core of the cauliflower. In a pan of simmering milk, add half of the shallots and garlic, and blanch the florets (for about four minutes or until just soft). Refresh under cold water. Set aside. Using the milk you have blanched the florets in, add half the cauliflower trimmings, mature cheddar, English mustard and half of the white wine. Simmer until soft. Blitz, strain and pour into a tray to set. Keep this cauliflower cheese on one side. Add the cauliflower pearls to a pan of salted water, add the saffron and cook until soft.

Keep to one side. In a pan sweat down the remaining shallots, garlic and trimmings. Add half the white wine and all the cream and simmer for 10 minutes until soft. Blitz until silky smooth and then season to taste. This forms the purée to use later. Take the blanched florets and place half on a baking tray along with olive oil, salt and pepper then roast, in the oven, until golden. Place the remaining florets in a very hot pan and blacken on one side as this will add a wonderful nutty taste to the cauliflower. For the cauliflower crisps, just simply slice the remaining unblanched floret as thinly as possible, then lay the slices on a tray with olive oil and seasoning and bake until golden and dry. With the cauliflower leaves, simply wilt them in salted butter at the very last minute. In a dry pan add the mixed nuts and seeds and roast until golden along with the honey and brown sugar. Remove and leave to cool

To Assemble
On a tray add all the cauliflower components, then warm them through slowly in the oven.

Cut the set cauliflower cheese into cubes and place to one side. On a white plate, drag a line of the cauliflower purée through the centre. On top of this arrange all the warm cauliflower components. Top with the toasted nuts and seeds. Garnish with dressed micro herbs and nasturtium leaves. At the very last minute, add the cauliflower cheese

Recipe published in Feast, issue 23.

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