Nutty saffron cauliflower

14 January 2011 § Leave a comment

The poor cauliflower, hardly the rock star of the vegetable world, is often rightly perceived as being bland and tasteless. Too many years of being boiled for 20 minutes can give a good vegetable a bad reputation. The cauliflower is misunderstood as beneath that humdrum appearance is a robust veggie that is very versatile and can certainly hold its own with stronger flavors.

I needed to get creative with my cauli as I had two of them, (one came in my lovely organic veggie box from Purple Dragon Food Co-op.) So I adapted this Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, I thought it needed a bit more texture so I added some pistachios to give it a bit more bite. The Ladies™ reluctantly tried some of the cauli but would did not eat much of the rest, I think the saffron was a bit overpowering for then. King Marv and I did eat all of ours as a side dish to chicken marinated in garlic and tahini, it went very well.

Here is the recipe for saffron cauliflower – it serves 4 as a side dish


1½ teaspoons saffron strands

¼ cup boiling water

1 medium cauli, divided into medium florets

1 large red onion

4oz sultanas (if they are very dry soak them in water for a few minutes then drain)

4oz green olives, pitted and sliced lengthways ( I used some a mixture of black and green but think green work best)

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 bay leaves

½ cup toasted chopped pistachios

4 tbsp roughly chopped parsley

Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 395°F. Put the saffron strands in a small bowl and pour over the hot water. Leave to infuse for a minute, then pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except the parsley and mix together.

Transfer the mix to a medium ovenproof dish, cover with foil and place in the oven. Cook for 40-45 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender, but still a bit firm. After 20 minutes stir well and cover again and return to cook.

Once it is cooked. take the dish out of the oven, remove the foil and allow to cool slightly before stirring in the parsley and pistachios. Taste and season, then serve warm or at room temperature.


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