Baked cauliflower with garlic, chilli, coriander and lemon

There’s something very rustic and comforting about baking a whole cauliflower. This version with chilli, coriander, garlic and lemon is delicious as a side for an Indian feast or seved simply with grilled fish or meats and a green salad.

Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour

1 whole medium size cauliflower with outer leaves removed
3 small red chillies
4 cloves garlic
Zest and juice of one lemon
Handful of coriander leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius
Cut away base of the cauliflower so it will sit flat
Cut a cross in the base
Crush garlic, coriander, salt and chilli into a paste using mortar and pestle
Add lemon zest and lemon juice and then muddle with olive oil
Rub paste well all over the cauliflower using plastic gloves
Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper
Place on middle rack of oven for about an hour or until cauliflower is tender
Serve as a delicious accompaniment to meat and fish dishes
Seves 4-6

Cauliflower and Pea Curry

A fabulous accompaniment for spicy lamb cutlets or just as good with red lentil dhal and some freshly cooked basmati rice. This classic Indian dish has many variations and this one is a simple South Indian flavoured version with curry leaves and cummin seeds.

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 25 minutes

Half a head of a small cauliflower cut into small florets
1 cup frozen peas
1 onion finely diced
1/2 tomato chopped
3 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger ground together into paste
1 tbspn cummin seeds
1 cinnamon stick (preferably cinnamon bark)
1/2 tspn turmeric
1 tsp cummin powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tbspn vegetable oil
Handful of fresh curry leaves
Handful of coriander leaves chopped for garnish
Salt to taste

Heat oil in heavy based pot over medium heat
Add cinnamon bark, cummin seeds, curry leaves and heat until fragrant
Add onions and cook slowly over low-medium heat until transparent
Add ginger and garlic paste and mix through onions
Add cummin powder, turmeric and chilli powder and cook spices with onions for 1 minute taking care not to burn
Add tomato, mixing through onions and spices until heated through and starting to break up, add half a cup of water if necessary.
Add cauliflower and another half cup water and simmer over low heat until almost tender. (About 10-15 minutes)
Add salt to taste
Add peas and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender but still bright green
Garnish with chopped coriander
Serve with rice

Serves 4 as a main with rice or 6 as an accompaniment.

Zesty stuffed artichokes with orange mayonnaise sauce

Inspired by traditional Sicilian fare, these rustic stuffed artichokes have been a family favourite for many years. When the kids were young this dish fitted into the category of “interactive eating” – as it entails using your hands to pulling off the steamed and stuffed leaves, dipping them in the sauce and then inelegantly sucking the stuffing off them. Messy but definitely worth the effort as you make your way to the tender artichoke heart – the jewel in the crown. The zesty orange flavoured stuffing and unique artichoke flavour team with the semi-sweet Orange mayonnaise sauce to make a delicious entree that never fails to surprise and delight guests.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

4 fresh artichokes
1 onion finely diced
3 cloves garlic crushed into paste
Olive oil – 2/3 tablespoons to thinly cover base of small frying pan
Half a bunch parsley finely chopped
6 stale slices white bread torn into fresh breadcrumbs
Zest of one Orange
Juice of half an orange
Half a cup whole egg mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Large heavy, flat bottom pot with lid
4 cups water


Heat oil in small non-stick frying pan
Add onion and cook slowly until transparent
Add garlic paste and cook through with onions for 2-3 minutes
In a seperate bowl make breadcrumbs and then add onion mixture, parsley and orange zest and mix all ingredients well allowing breadcrumbs to absorb the oil and flavours of onion mixture
Cut off stems from artichokes to form a flat base for artichokes to sit in pot
Wash artichokes well, gently spreading leaves without breaking them off, to make room for stuffing mix
Stuff artichokes leaf by leaf working from inside out. The aim is to have a little bit of stuffing on each of the leaves.
Place 2-3 cups water in a flat heavy bottomed pot with a lid and bring to the boil.
stand artichokes flat side down in pot. Water should just cover about 1/4 of the artichokes. You are aiming to steam leaves but have enough water to cook hearts at the bottom.
Cover with lid and allow water to boil on a gentle roll for 25-30 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the Orange juice with the mayonnaise and let stand in fridge agin to slightly thicken again. The consistency will be saucy.
Remove artichokes from water and allow to stand and drain for 2 minutes.
Serve with orange mayonnaise in seperate small bowls for each person. Have a seperate bowl at hand to discard the leaves in as you go!