Each week plant-based cook Bettina Campolucci Bordi, founder of Bettina’s Kitchen, gives us the lowdown on a particular seasonal fruit, vegetable or ingredient, offering cooking tips and a recipe. This week it’s cauliflower and its cool younger sibling, caulishoots.
Ingredient of the Week: Cauliflower/Caulishoots
I have a love-hate relationship with cauliflower. I think it’s absolutely delicious when it is slow roasted until sticky and sweet. Equally I think it is terrible as a low carb rice alternative (that is just my humble opinion).
Traditionally boiled to within an inch of its life, cauliflower more recently started appearing on restaurant menus and in recipes from Ottolenghi to Nigella. Steaks, wings, rice and gnocchi followed. Cauliflower had arrived – again, some 500 years after it was first cultivated in Asia and around the Mediterranean.
However there is a new kid on the block and it’s called caulishoots: a new variety of cauliflower with sweet nutty curds on succulent stems. They’re totally edible from tip to toe, so there’s no prep and no waste, just 100 per cent deliciousness
The whole product is edible, providing convenience while limiting food waste, offering a high fibre content as well as vitamin C and boasting a sweet and nutty taste. They are developed through marrying seeds and are totally sustainable. I like them steamed, fried, oven-baked, griddled or even cooked on the BBQ. However you choose to cook them, caulishoots are sure to be the next big culinary hit.
I love cooking caulishoots as little as possible because they are delicious just slightly cooked or pan fried. My favourite way to cook them is either in a frittata or a carbonara, but as the sun is shining let’s go with the frittata.
Recipe: Caulishoots Frittata
It’s been a hot one, and with hot weather comes simple eats, just like this frittata that I have been making non-stop using caulishoots.
Makes 2 servings
- 250g caulishoots
- ½ shallot, finely chopped
- ¼ green pepper, sliced
- Olive oil, for frying & brushing
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Handful of fresh herbs of your choice
For the frittata:
- 140g chickpea (gram) flour
- 125ml water
- ½ tsp salt
- A small pinch of ground turmeric (for colour)
- ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the shallots.
- Slice the Caulishoots in half lengthwise from the top of the head to the base of the stem, using the whole piece and not discarding any of it, and add to the pan. Then add the peppers and fry on a medium heat for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the chickpea flour, water, turmeric, bicarbonate of soda, apple cider vinegar and salt & pepper to a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour this mixture into the pan over the stir fried vegetables, then lay the halved Caulishoot heads on top to cover the frittata.
- Brush the Caulishoots with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
- Remove from the heat and put under the grill for a few minutes until golden and crispy.
- Remove from the pan and serve topped with fresh herbs.
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