You know what we can't get enough of at the moment? Cauliflower. Here at Buy West Eat Best, we love to take advantage of what's in season and at this time of year, we are spoilt with an abundance of high quality, local cauliflower.
The options really are endless with its pretty-as-a-picture white florets, from old school cauliflower cheese to cauliflower fritters with a range of sauces.
Cauliflower is a trustworthy 'healthy option' alternative that can be used for pizzas, pasta and rice, minus the carb coma. Delish!
What's more, it is an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and dietary fibre.
We've put together our 7 favourite things to do with this humble vegie.
1. Parmesan roasted cauliflower
Toss cauliflower florets with a splash of olive oil, finely chopped onion and a sprinkle of garlic and thyme. Roast in the oven then scatter a handful of parmesan on top and roast for a further few minutes until tender.
This is the perfect side dish to accompany a roasted Linley Valley Pork or Amelia Park lamb. Your Sunday roast just got a whole lot more exciting!
2. Cauliflower pasta
Who else agrees that a big bowl of pasta is just so good for the soul (especially in the cooler winter months)? We're loving this cauliflower pasta dish, perfect for your #MeatlessMonday.
Combine a handful of grated parmesan, a few teaspoons of butter, breadcrumbs and toasted pine nuts. Then add the roasted cauliflower from above (minus the parmesan... or if you want to double up on the cheese we won't judge!) Put the mixture on top of hot pasta, watch it melt and voila!
Hot tip (literally): We also love adding a sprinkle of chilli flakes to the cauliflower for an extra kick.
3. Herbed cauliflower 'rice'
We were a little skeptical of replacing our beloved soft, fluffy rice with cauliflower, but honestly, once you go cauliflower you'll never go back. The cauliflower adds extra flavour and nutrition, but you still get that fluffy consistency. It's a win-win.
Simply blitz cauliflower in a food processor then transfer it to a paper towel to get out any moisture. Sauté the small pieces in a pan for a few minutes with a tablespoon of oil. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-8 minutes until the 'rice' is tender.
You can use cauliflower 'rice' in any recipes that call for rice - curries, stir-fries, fried rice...!
4. Cauliflower salad with pomegranate and mint
I know it's not summer just yet but in anticipation, we had to include this recipe as it represents everything we love about a West Aussie summer. Perfect for a picnic by the beach or a Sunday backyard BBQ.
All you need to do is mix a decent splash of lemon juice and orange juice (look for Moora Citrus) with a handful of pomegranate seeds and a dash of olive oil. Throw in some chopped mint, parsley and chives. Toss with finely sliced cauliflower and that's it - summer in a bowl!
5. Cauliflower cheese gratin (AKA fancy cauliflower cheese)
You really can't go past a good old-fashioned cauliflower cheese.
Cook cauliflower in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Transfer to an ovenproof dish that's been brushed with melted butter. Melt 50g butter and stir in 40g plain flour. Gradually add a cup of milk and cheddar to finish. Pour over the cauliflower and sprinkle with breadcrumbs, extra butter and cheddar. Cook under the grill for five minutes or until golden.
If you want to add a salty crunch, try adding a finely sliced bacon.
6. Spicy cauliflower fritters with blue cheese sauce
Who else is a crazy blue cheese fan? The Duke's Blue by Harvey Cheese is our absolute favourite. Just add deep-fried fritters and you have a delicious canapé.
Cook cauliflower in a saucepan for five minutes and drain. Mix half a cup of self-raising flour with a teaspoon chilli powder. Whisk in an egg and half a cup of iced water. Add cauliflower and coat. Deep-fry the cauliflower pieces in small batches.
To make the blue cheese dressing, simply throw ¼ cup milk and a tablespoon of olive oil and white wine vinegar into a food processor. Add half a cup of blue cheese, blitz until smooth and there you have it.
7. Cauliflower pizza base
Last but certainly not least, we are huge fans of cauliflower pizza bases. It's a great low-carb way to have your pizza and eat it too!
Process cauliflower in a food processor then cover and place in the microwave until tender. Drain through a fine sieve to remove excess liquid. Combine with an egg and a handful of parmesan. Press cauliflower mixture into a pizza tray. Bake for 20 minutes. Add your favourite toppings and then pop back in the oven for a few extra minutes to bake.
There you have it. If you're not on the cauliflower bandwagon yet, you should be!
P.S. A special mention has to go out to cauliflower soup and cauliflower curry. There are just too many options to choose from!
Look out for WA grown cauliflowers at your local supermarket or farmers market and get cooking...