Along with Kale, Broccoli and Romanesco, the Cauliflower is a member of the Brassica family. Although the subject of my blog is seasonal food, the cauli - as it is also known - is available throughout the year with one variety harvested during the summer months from June to October and another during winter, from November to May. I remember fields full of cauli’s when my son used to go to school in Broadstairs - the Kentish soil being particularly suited to growing them. There was always a feint whiff of cauli in the air too.
The goodness in a cauli is stored in the florets - or curds as the are apparently also known. They are packed with vitamins C and B6, good for keeping the brain and nervous system healthy. They are also a source of minerals, protein and fibre and very low in calories - a winner for anyone looking at healthy choices for their lifestyle.
An incredibly versatile vegetable, it can be used to replace grains and legumes making it particularly useful for anyone following a Low Carbohydrate diet. Examples are:
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
I am a big fan of Masterchef on TV and I have become increasingly intrigued by the use of Cauli as a steak - a thick slice through the whole head which is then cooked either in a frying pan or even roasted in the oven.
I must admit to not having tried any of the above. In fact the cauli fell out of favour in our house for a while, although I am not sure why. This all changed recently, however, when I stumbled upon a recipe for Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry when I was looking for a tasty meat free dish as I am making a conscious effort to cut back on meat consumption, red meat in particular. I could never go totally vegetarian but I can limit the amount of meat I eat and dishes like this make it very easy to do so.
The recipe comes from The Last Food Blog and I cannot get enough of it. Cauli works so well with Indian Spices and the addition of Coconut milk adds a creamy depth to the sauce - it really is delicious. The recipe suggests adding some crunch with toasted almond flakes as a garnish although this can, of course, be omitted.
I make this in a large batch and freeze in individual portions - perfect for a midweek supper when you have nothing in and don’t have time to shop.
When setting up food shots, it is really important to think about the background as this will affect the overall mood you are aiming for. There are some amazing photographers who shoot mostly in one particular style - either dark and moody or fresh and bright. Both styles have their place but I prefer not to limit myself - I let the style of the dish dictate which look to go for. This recipe is about healthy eating so, for me, it needs to look fresh and bright and I have chosen a light background with white tableware but I have added some depth with a dark teacloth - it is all about balance. I have shot these images in my preferred flatlay style and in natural light.
We are now into February and I have some lovely seasonal ingredients planned for the coming weeks. I am really enjoying writing this blog and sharing my photographs. I hope you continue to join me on my journey through the year.
Until next week!