Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Sautéed Cauliflower, Cumin and Almond Crunch

Sometimes, it's the littlest things...

This was a little whim of mine, when cooking some seafood (octopus). I say whim, but I spent nigh on a week trying to think of flavours which would go with it! I still hadn't quite decided what to do with it on the day of cooking, so I looked in the fridge and I thought the cauliflower flavour would really complement it (because it works so well with scallops, which have a sweet, delicate flavour), along with having the delicious savoury maillard edge from caramelising the florets in a pan, together with extra crunch and nuttiness from the flaked almonds and coconut oil and some heady, earthy flavours from the cumin seeds, with a final sprinkling of sea salt.


That is almost directly how my thought process works, in written form! Thinking about which flavours go well together, then how I can get contrasting textures, and then add different dimensions on top of that. My mouth is just watering thinking about it!!!

It's very simple to make, and only 142 calories per portion as a side. And, it's really, seriously tasty and delicious!

The quantity I originally made, was for a starter for two portion, as one of the garnishes. But it really was so delicious I decided to make it again, as it deserves to be a side dish (or even quick lunch?!) in it's own right! I certainly had to restrain myself from eating all of it, whilst cooking the rest of the dish!

The quantity I'm giving you here, is for two side dishes, or four starter portions (to serve with something else, like scallops, served in a little ring, scattered in a pile, around the edges, or similar - this came from my recipe for Octopus with Chorizo and Peppers, and Cauliflower Two Ways - you will need half this quantity for two generous starter portion accompaniments, working out at 71 calories per portion)

300g cauliflower, in mini/micro florets (the size of peas to chickpeas - see notes below) [114]
1 & 1/2 tsp coconut oil (the high quality variety, which comes as a solid) [68]
15g flaked (slivered) almonds (or substitute pine nuts - a lovely suggestion from a friend who cooked it both ways, thankyou Jilly Grower! not pre-toasted - use more if you're a bit of a nut-freak!) [97]
1/2 tsp cumin seeds [4]
Sea salt

Heat a good, non-stick pan, over a medium to high heat, and add the coconut oil. Swirl around until melted, then add the cauliflower, and toss/stirfry, until it has become golden (this might take 3-5 minutes, depending on your pan and heat - try one to make sure it's crunchy, yet more tender than raw - or to your taste!). Add the almonds and cumin seeds, and toss/stirfry for another 15-30 seconds until the cumin is fragrant, and the almonds are turning golden in places (be careful not to burn the almonds, or cumin seeds, or it will be bitter).

Sprinkle with sea-salt to taste, and serve immediately.

I was quite indulgent making this - I literally skimmed off the top centimetre or less of the florets, so that they either fell apart, or were easily separated into tiny little florets. Then I used the rest of the stalk/remaining florets etc. to make the cauliflower puree (this freezes exceptionally well, and you could also make soup from the stalk). However, you don't have to do this, you could just chop up the cauliflower florets and top stalks into 5mm dice, for a very similar result.

For a bit of a zing, if you like, you could add a squeeze of lemon juice.

1 comment:

  1. this is so yummy a great vegetarian lunch dish make extra because every one will want more the recipe is so easy to follow and also a great side dish with any veg curry thankyou for sharing big love marc


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