I know the words Thai and cauliflower don’t normally go together, but why should the flavours suffer the same fate? When I attempted to google this, I was lead to a website ‘Cauliflower ear, the easiest way to pick up girls’ promoting Muay Thai fighting, as all girls apparently love scars of any kind?
The cauliflower has come a long way, dating back to the 6th century BC, three varieties were known in the 12th century in Spain, apparently introduced via Syria. As with fashion trends it seems that roasting this versatile vegetable is so ‘in vogue’ at this place in time. This is not because people are vulnerable to faddishness but because it is simply delicious, try it out on cauliflower haters and you will see the transformation.
I found this recipe by fluke, I am by no means a ‘soup person’ but I have been curious about transforming vegetables into creams and purees. I was first inspired by my Italian friend Sandra, who uses all kinds of techniques – still managing to maintain the subjects essence, even emphasizing its natural flavours.
This recipe requires minimum effort and most ingredients are pantry staples, I have adapted it from ‘cookieandkate’ blog. I am loving rapeseed oil for its high smoking point, nutritional benefits and colour – which is a golden yellow.
Ingredients Serves 4 (freezes well)
- 1 large head of cauliflower broken into small florets
- 3 carrots cubed
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil or olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2-3 tbsp Thai red curry paste, depending on how spicy you like things (make it batches and freeze in portions or buy ready-made)
- zest of 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed)
- 1 large glass / about 250ml white wine
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 1 can / 400ml good quality coconut milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar (mirin)
- 1 handful of chopped green chives
- 1 handful of sliced basil
Heat oven to 200℃.
Place your cauliflower and carrots (if using) on a large baking tray and drizzle over 3 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil and season generously. Place in heated oven for 20-30 minutes (until slightly charred and cooked through).
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed casserole or deep saucepan and add chopped onion. Cook over a medium heat until translucent then add your curry paste and stir for a few minutes until fragrant.
Add zest and cook for a minute or two.
Add your wine and cook until most of it dissolves before adding your stock, coconut milk, sugar and 3/4 of your roasted cauliflower and simmering for about 5 minutes. Season to taste.
Remove from heat, stir in rice vinegar and blend with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. You may like to add a little more stock to get your desired consistancy.
Label into bowls, top with chopped chives, basil and reserved cauliflower florets.