Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Experimental cauliflower. Thanks to Riverford. And Clare. And Duncan too!

I decided this year to try and get the kids to eat more veg. They eat quite a lot, the challenge is to get them to eat more, and in a more varied manner.As it has been so cold recently, i have taken to keeping a box of veg in the utility room. It means it is nice and cold, but isnt languishing at the back of the fridge unloved and ignored...(some might say it was labguishing in the utility room, but thats another thing altogether!)

 The kids like brocolli, cauliflower, potatoes. Beans, NOT cooked carrots and various other things. But i will confess that the prospect of producing another dish of cauliflower cheese for tonights supper, just did not appeal.

For Christmas i was fortunate to recieve a lovely book; Riverford Farm Cook Book. This book is beautiful. I am a huge fan of Riverford farm, who operate an organic veg box scheme. There are of course, pros and cons of organic produce, which i wont go into here, but what i think is more important is eating seasonally. It aggrieves me when the kids want to buy watermelons in december, especially when we have a glut of them on holiday which i cant persuade them to eat. Worse still, for me, is the appearance of rows and rows of perfect, uniform apples. None of which are british. My favourite apple is discovery, which is a lovely pink blush apple,. almost floral in frgrance and taste, and has such a short season that i go direct to the orchard and pick them, as there is no point in waiting for the 'big 4' to get them in. By the time they do (if indeed they do) they are but shadows of their former beautiful pink perfumed selves.

Anyway, i digress. Riverford. Seasonal food, [picked and delivered fresh. Yes, of course there are food miles involved. Our farm, Upper Norton is in Hampshire, so a bit closer to us than the original Riverford Farm. If i deliver by weds evening, i will have delivered fresh to my door on Friday, by the lovely Jake, a box of deliciously fresh, muddy, earthy veggies, a leaflet with a recipe on it, and excitement. Yes, sad, i know, but i get excited when i delve into the box, and remove twisted carrots, earthy parsnips, and leeks that seem to be about 3 feet long.

So this evening, with a cauliflower in hand, i turned to my nice new book. I have found if i tell the kids EXACTLY what is going into something, i normally end up with a mutiny on my hands. So tonight i didnt..i glossed over the 4 shiny salty little anchovy fillets, that i mashed into garlicky oil. There would have been a riot otherwise.

I present, for your delectation, Pasta, with cauliflower, garlic and anchovies.
Very simple.
Cook florets of cauliflower in boling salted water for 5 mins.
Meanwhile, gentle cook one or 2 garlic cloves, chopped small in olive oil, without browning them too much. Rinse and finely chop the anchovies (i had whole fish in salt, that i brought home from france last summer) and mash into the garlic and oil.

At this point, i removed the cauliflower using a slotted spoon and put it into the frying pan with the oil/garlic/anchovy mix, and put the pasta (the recipe states penne, but we had twirls) into the cauliflower water to cook.
I mixed the cauliflower round, then covered the pain and cooked on a low heat for about 6 minutes. Took the lid off, mashed the cauliflower a bit, and added a good shake of cayenne pepper (there was mild rebellion, maybe i added too much?)

Once cooked, i drained the pasta, chucked it into the frying pan, and mixed into the cauliflower mix. A handful of grated cheese and done.

FG complained about the pepper......FT went back for seconds. Mostly successful.

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