Cauliflower, like most vegetables, was never something I really liked. I think it is because it is usually served in the British traditional way, which is boiled for several hours.
This rendered it horrible. The sort of thing you force down for the promise of pudding. It was to be avoided at all costs. Worst of all, after all that boiling, the nutritional value was probably extremely limited.
There are of course lots of health benefits to eating more vegetables in general and cauliflower is no exception. Full of good stuff and linked to weight loss, heart health and brain function, it is a win win. However, that isn’t to say it has to be so wholesome. It is great used in junk food dishes as well. Batter it, fry it or bake it and it will be so much better.
In the three years I have been vegan, I reckon I have eaten more cauliflower than I did in the 30 odd years I wasn’t. The main revelation has been getting away from the horrible, soggy, over cooked mess and starting to roast it. Just give it a little oil and a little time in the oven and let it cook. It is a total change.
Cauliflower is quite a sturdy vegetable, so it will take some punishment. It is also extremely textured which allows it to hold on to a coating really well.
It’s never going to taste like chicken but then, chicken doesn’t really taste of much. The key is to add all those extra plant based spices, for maximum flavour. Think of the cauliflower floret as a carrier for all your flavour needs.
Simply roasted it is a great accompaniment to most things. However, soak it in vegan buttermilk, dredge it in spiced flour and fry it, and things get great.
A lighter method is to bake it and then coat in hot wings sauce. This is another great way to do it and a little healthier than a full on fry up.
Here are some other great recipes for cauliflower, from the saintly to the sinful.
Whole Roast Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Bulgar Wheat salad