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5 Ways To Use Cauliflower

2nd April 2020

The humble cauliflower. It’s gotten a bad wrap in the past, often thought of as boring and unimaginative, simply boiled as a side to a Sunday roast. However in recent years the cauliflower has had something of a resurgence. It’s featured heavily in Yotam Ottolenghi’s best sellers, and the rise of veganism has led to professional and amateur chef’s across the globe creating new ways to utilise this once overlooked vegetable.

Not only is it wonderfully versatile, but it’s almost always readily available in the UK. Varieties of cauliflower are planted throughout the warmer months to ensure a supply all year round, making it the most seasonal vegetable, or, depending on your outlook, completely season-less. One serving of cauliflower also makes up for 73% of our daily recommended Vitamin C and contains nearly zero grams of fat, sodium or sugar! 

We’re big fans of the cauliflower here at Farmdrop, so we’ve put together a list of our top 5 recipes for you to enjoy.

Turmeric Cauliflower Steaks & Coconut Sauce

We love it when veg takes centre stage and these cauliflower steaks really hold their own in this South Indian inspired recipe. They suck up the turmeric-dyed marinade and turn become wonderfully tender with crisp, caramelised edges when cooked. Even the offcuts of the cauliflower are used to thicken the coconut sauce and impart their subtle mustardy flavour.


  • 1 organic cauliflower
  • A small handful of chopped coriander or micro herbs (such as micro broccoli)
  • ½ red chilli, sliced

Cauliflower marinade:

  • 1 inch piece fresh turmeric, grated
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp plain oil (larder)
  • A good pinch of salt (larder)

Coconut sauce:

  • 1 tbsp plain oil (larder)
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • ½ cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 200ml coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Keeping the leaves on, cut the cauliflower in half through the stalk. Cut a 3cm thick steak out of the centre part of each half and place on a baking tray. Chop up a handful of the leftover cauliflower florets into small chunks.
  2. Mix together the marinade ingredients then brush all over the cauliflower steaks on both sides. Leave to marinade for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Pop the steaks in the oven for around 25 minutes, turning halfway through, until crisp and golden on the edges and tender in the middle. Alternatively, cook on the BBQ for that unbeatable smokey flavour until crisp and tender.
  4. For the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan. When hot and shimmering, add the cinnamon stick, cardamom and cumin seeds and leave to crackle for 10-15 seconds until fragrant.
  5. Next add the shallot, red chilli, garlic and ginger, garam masala and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden.
  6. Pour in the coconut milk and cauliflower pieces and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until the cauliflower is soft.
  7. Pull the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods out of the curry sauce and discard. Blitz the sauce with a hand blender (or in a food processor) until thick and smooth.
  8. Serve the steaks on a layer of the sauce and sprinkled with the fresh red chilli and coriander.


Whole Baked Cauliflower Cheese

Nothing says comfort like golden, bubbling cauliflower cheese. We like to bake the cauliflower whole with its leaves still intact, so they turn crispy when roasted.

cauliflower cheese


  • 1 organic cauliflower
  • 1 organic leek
  • 100g organic butter
  • 70g parmesan, grated
  • 100g organic cheddar, grated
  • 600ml whole milk
  • a handful of pine nuts

What you’ll need

  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 60g plain flour
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Using a sharp knife cut out the hard stalk from the cauliflower, keeping as many of the leaves intact, and place the whole cauliflower in a baking dish root side up, with any leaves that have fallen off scattered around it.
  2. Wash the leek, slice it into coins and scatter around the dish. Melt 1/2 the butter and pour over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pop in the oven for 20 minutes until it is beginning to brown.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by adding the remaining butter to a saucepan. Heat until melted then add the flour. Stir and cook for 30 seconds before adding a splash of milk. Continue to gradually add the milk, stirring, until you have a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the dijon mustard.
  4. Stir in most of both of the cheeses to the sauce, keeping some to sprinkle on top.
  5. Bring the cauliflower out of the oven and flip it over so that the head is showing. Pour the cheese sauce all over the cauliflower then sprinkle over the remaining cheddar, followed by the pine nuts. Bake in the oven for a further 20 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked through and tender.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting into wedges; drizzle with the cheese sauce to serve.

Roasted Cauliflower & Herby Cannellini Mash

cauliflower mash

This dish is really simple but packed full of flavour. It makes a great lunch or you can serve alongside pitta and other dips as part of a mezze.


  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 2 tins cannellini beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 100g pine nuts

From your larder

  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and break into florets. Place in a large baking tray and mix with a glug of olive oil, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp chilli flakes and salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes until charred but still with a bite.
  2. Whilst the cauliflower is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a frying pan and set aside.
  3. Drain the cannellini beans and tip into a saucepan with a good glug of olive oil, the garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Warm through and mash with a fork, or if you like a smoother consistency use a stick blender.
  4. Divide the mash between four plates and top with cauliflower and pine nuts.

Curried Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower rice

Ready in just 10 minutes, this easy recipe makes for a fantastic alternative to rice. The turmeric turns the cauliflower a vibrant shade of yellow, whilst the cumin and curry powder create a wonderful fragrance whilst they toast in the pan.


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Wash the cauliflower thoroughly and remove the leaves (you can keep and use: see recipe below). If you’re using a box grater, cut the cauliflower into large chunks and grate using the larger holes. If you’re using a food processor (which is remarkably easier), cut the cauliflower into small florets and place inside the food processor using the grater attachment. 
  2. Remove the grated cauliflower and place inside a paper towel lined bowl, squeeze out excess moisture.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add your spices and toast for 10 seconds. Once fragrant, add the cauliflower rice and stir until rice and spice are combined. Cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
  4. Once plated, scatter with finely chopped fresh coriander and serve.

Tempura Cauliflower Leaves

tempura cauliflower leaves

This ones for those of you who love to be as zero-waste as possible! Keep the cauliflower leaves and turn into these crunchy, zingy tempura snacks!


  • Cauliflower leaves
  • 130g all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 large egg
  • 240ml water (ice cold)
  • Ice cubes (for chilling the water)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sumac
  • Neutral oil(for frying)

For the dip

  • Natural yoghurt
  • Sumac
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped


  1. In a small bowl, sift flour once or twice to remove any clumps and to make it light and soft. Set aside.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, gently beat 1 egg until the yolk and egg whites are just barely incorporated.
  3. Prepare ice cold water by combining water and ice cubes in a cup. Using a sieve, measure 240ml of ice cold water and add it to the bowl with the beaten egg. 
  4. Combine the sifted flour with the egg and water mixture. Be careful not to over-mix the batter. 
  5. In a deep, heavy bottomed saucepan add enough oil to deep fry. Be sure to not fill higher than half way up the saucepan. Put over medium-high heat. If you have a thermometer, the optimum temperature for tempura is 170ºC. If you don’t have thermometer, check the temperature by dropping a little bit of batter into the oil; if the batter comes up right away instead of sinking to the bottom of the pan, it’s higher than 170ºc and too hot. If the batter goes halfway to the bottom and comes up, it’s just right.
  6. To fry, dust a cauliflower leaf in flour before dipping into the batter, slowly place into the hot oil, being careful not to burn yourself. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Do this with each leaf but be careful not to crowd the pan. When the leaves are cooked, place on a wire rack, season with salt, pepper and sumac.
  7. To make the dip combine a couple of dollops of organic yoghurt with a good pinch of sumac. Garnish with parsley and serve.


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