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There's a cauliflower glut, so here's what to cook, with recipe ideas from Scottish chefs and foodies

Be warned, most of them involve batter

Published: January 27, 2022
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Apparently there’s a glut of cauliflowers flooding into shops, after weather conditions meant they flowered too late for Christmas demand.

As far as online recipes go, we like the sound of Nigella’s warm spiced cauliflower and chickpea salad with pomegranate seeds. There’s also, of course, soup, curry and cauliflower rice, and in Niki Segnit’s book The Flavour Thesaurus, she suggests this brassica is the perfect partner for almond, anchovy, caviar, cumin, hard cheese, shellfish, truffle, and other ingredients. We have a few suggestions too.

Cauliflower Cheese

It’s a comfort food classic. If you want to use a Scottish cheddar with yours, Rory Mellis of cheesemonger IJ Mellis recommends Isle of Mull cheddar and, for those who want a second fromage in the mix, St Andrews Farmhouse Cheddar, as “it’s a little fruitier and sharper”. Or, you could try a Somerset cheddar, as, Mellis says, “It lends itself well to cooking as the texture is perfect for melting. The flavours are mustardy and earthy, and it packs a punch, which makes it great for cauliflower cheese”. Sold.

Tempura cauliflower

Tricia Fox, co-founder of Mhor Coffee in Perth, says; “Deep-fried in tempura batter served with a soy, chilli and honey sauce, Deeelish”.

Roasted cauliflower or cauliflower steaks

Gordon Chree, STV reporter, says “Roast it for 15 minutes with salt, pepper and olive oil, then for another ten with turmeric and garlic. Great with some red lentil dahl”.

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John Molloy, development chef at Base Scotland, who own Glaschu and The Duke’s Umbrella says, “Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables. I actually prefer it to some types of meat. It’s versatile, it can be roasted, steamed, works in curries, as well as a centerpiece or on the side. My preferred way of doing it is to roast at a high temperature with a little oil to get a nice amount of caramelisation. I then baste it in butter and herbs. The dish we have at The Duke’s Umbrella is basted in brown butter and za’atar and finished with olive oil and some rock salt”.

Cauliflower wings

There’s been a recent trend involving florets coated in a fried-chicken-ish batter. Wendy Barrie of the Scottish Food Guide, says; “Hendersons have a cauliflower starter on their menu to check out”, and we did. They serve salt and chilli cauliflower wings at this Bruntsfield restaurant and their chef, Paul Kayne, says, “Steam the cauliflower until al dente. Allow to cool. Marinade in Chinese five spice, tamari, white pepper, chilli flakes and garlic for about 12 hours. Roll in seasoned flour, then deep fry or air fry at 180 degrees centigrade until heated through and crispy”.

Bang bang cauliflower

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“Bang bang cauliflower with Szechuan noodles is a tasty bowl of warmth on a cold night,” says Dandelion Cafe, Glasgow. Indeed, there are plenty of recipes online for this, and you’ll have to stock up on Panko breadcrumbs, sesame seeds and chilli to get the full flavour shebang (bang).

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Day in the Life: Jonathan Chierchia, owner of Decanter Winery and Dinery, Edinburgh
Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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