As with the humble cabbage, my favourite way to eat cauliflower is to snack on it raw. I came across a cauliflower risotto recipe a while back, and despite my enthusiasm for risottos, i have yet to try it out. I think part of my problem is that cauliflower is such a white vegetable. Part of the attraction of many vegetables is their colour, and white cauliflower in a white risotto just doesn't seem terribly attractive.
However a few weeks back i was listening to Jesse Mulligan talking to Kelly Gibney on Radio NZ National about this cauliflower soup recipe, and i was immediately interested. Probably because of the walnut component - i find it very hard to resist a walnut in anything.
Roasting the cauliflower gives extra flavour, and the addition of a tin of cannellini beans gives body and helps make this a very satisfying meal. The recipe comes from Kelly's book "Wholehearted", which i've not yet seen, but will try and make an effort to find a copy to peruse, based purely on my experience of this one recipe. I won't be buying it though - i've decided to ban myself from buying any more recipe books, as i have so many already.
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER and WALNUT SOUP
From Kelly Gibney's book 'Wholehearted'
1 medium/large cauliflower
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 litres vegetable stock (can also use chicken stock)
70 g raw walnuts
salt and cracked black pepper
olive oil or cocnut oil for roasting and sauteing
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius
Chop cauliflower into medium sized florets. Toss with a generous dollop of the olive or coconut oil and roast for 30 to 35 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
Heat a generous spoonful of oil in a large saucepan over a medium/low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes without browning until the onion is translucent. Add the cannellini beans and rosemary and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the stock, cauliflower and walnuts. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Use a blender or stick blender to puree until silky smooth. Season to taste with salt and cracked black pepper.