I think I must have been weaned on cauliflower. This is one the vegetables that my father grew in our veggie garden. I loved to go out in the garden with him to choose one for Sunday lunch. It was such an education; he would point out that the snowy white head of the cauliflower was called the curd or head, and that the name cauliflower means “cabbage flower”. According to Mark Twain, “Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.”
Besides white cauliflower, they also come in purple, green and orange. There is also a new kid on the block I’m told; it is called Broccoflower, a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. I’m keen to give that I try when I find it.
The cauliflower is a member of the same vegetable family as broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. I love that it can be eaten raw or streamed, boiled, roasted or fried. My mother used to cook the outer leaves and stalks – they are delicious in stir fries and vegetable cakes; so much nutrition there, I just hate throwing them away.
Since the banting madness began the price of a cauliflower shot through the roof. It is a perfect substitute for the delicious, but humble potato for those out there wanting a lower carbohydrate alternative to rice and potatoes. Did you know that one hundred grams of cauliflower has only 25 calories? I think that after two weeks at sea On The fabulous 6-star Crystal Symphony, a lot of cauliflower is just what I need to fill me up and help me drop a few kilos.
I believe that those with thyroid problems should avoid eating large amounts of cabbage or cauliflower. They both interfere with the body’s absorption of iodine, needed by the thyroid gland.
A little bit of trivia you might find interesting about the cauliflower and broccoli is that they are the only vegetables that are flowers. They are in fact flowers that haven’t developed yet.
Cauliflowers are used in movie sound effects. They Crack one at the stem to simulate the sound of a human bone breaking.
Let’s make a delicious BBQ pizza with cauliflower as a base.
BBQ Cauliflower Margherita
Makes 2 pizzas
1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp VIP sauce
1 Tbsp honey
2 pizza bases
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup onion, finely diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tin Italian crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp VIP sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Handful cherry tomatoes
Fresh micro basil leaves
Preheat oven to 200˚C.
Whisk together the flour and water until smooth.
Slice the cauliflower into little florets.
Toss the cauliflower in the flour mixture until well coated.
Spread onto a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 8 minutes. Stir all the florets around and bake for another 8 minutes until the batter has some crunch and colour to it.
In a small saucepan combine the Sriracha, vinegar, VIP sauce and honey. Bring to a simmer and take off the heat.
Toss the baked cauliflower through the hot sauce and return to the baking tray and bake for a further 10 minutes. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion, oregano and basil. Stir until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes along with the VIP sauce, sugar and salt and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside.
At least 45 minutes before baking, place a pizza stone on an oven rack set to the top position and preheat the oven as high as it can go. If you don’t have a pizza stone, no problem, just bake the pizza right on a lined baking sheet for a little longer.
To assemble your pizzas:
Flour surface well. Spread some of the homemade tomato sauce evenly over the pizza base, leaving a border along the edge. Place 8 to 10 chunks of mozzarella or grated mozzarella evenly over the pizza. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with with salt. Slide pizza onto stone and bake until cheese is melted and crust is spotty brown, 6 to 12 minutes total. Carefully pull pizza half way out of the oven and top with the spicy cauliflower. Bake for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to cutting board. Top with fresh micro basil, slice, and serve.