Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Cauliflower glut

We have a monster cauliflower glut. We planted them out late summer/early autumn last year in various places in the garden to fill in gaps as we harvested crops. They overwintered well and we had a couple of what I would call reasonably normal sized cauliflowers in April and the beginning of May. The remaining 4 plants just seemed to be growing masses of over-sized leaves and I resigned myself to making lots of "cabbage" soup. Then they went berserk and we ended up with cauliflowers weighing in at 3-4 lb each. I wish I had kept a record of the variety but I do remember the seed packet saying "ideal for the small garden"! 

Cauliflower and squash cheese with crispy, shredded
cauliflower leaves
There is only so much cauliflower cheese one can eat, lovely though it is, so we are having to get creative with our recipes. The small freezer section in our refrigerator is now choc a bloc. Even the traditional cheese recipe has been adapted to include squash (not our own but a harlequin squash from Waitrose) plus a bit of chilli to add a bit of a zing. As well as the "flower" there are the leaves to be disposed of. Many of them were too tough, or partially destroyed by slugs and snails, to be edible but there were enough in good condition to make some crispy, shredded cabbage and for dolma (stuffed leaves).

Dolma - stuffed cauliflower leave
To make the dolma, one first has to separate the leaves from the central stem and then blanch the leaves in boiling water for a minute or so. Then you can stuff them with whatever mixture you want. For ours we used a mixture of rice, peas, beans and onions left over from a paella.

Dolma with spiced tomatoes, steamed cauliflower and carrots

We added a spicy tomato and onion sauce to our dolma and served them with steamed cauliflower florets (what else!) and carrots.

Spiced cauliflower, potato, beans, mange toot and
onion on injera
Another recipe we used was spiced cauliflower with potato, beans, mange tout, onion and cauliflower leaves, all on injera style bread made from a sourdough starter.

Cauliflower, potato and leek soup

There has to be a soup in this collection of recipes and the one I went for was a chunky cauliflower, potato and leek soup with herbs and a dollop of yoghurt.


And finally... piccalilli. I love it. The first batch was a variation of the Hairy Bikers recipe. For the second I used a Waitrose recipe.

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