It’s so easy to cook Cauliflower poorly, leaving a bland colourless tasteless mush. That’s probably why so many people have such a poor opinion of this wonderful vegetable. One solution to this flavour problem is to add a bunch of salt and fat and turn a healthy daily side into a calorific threat food — just add some bacon and cheese, et voila! I definitely do this from time to time, as a treat, but that kind of exuberance is not a part of my daily diet. I want to enjoy cauliflower while keeping it healthy, and at this stage I’ve found lots of ways of doing that. In this post I’m going to share four of my favourite cauliflower recipes, and I’m going to focus on just those where cauliflower can be the only vegetable in the recipe. If you want to add some colour to the mix, you can replace up to half of the cauliflower with broccoli in all these recipes, and some are actually a little nicer when you do that, but the all work really well with cauliflower, and only cauliflower as the main ingredient. I might share some of my other recipes pairing cauliflower with things like courgettes (?? zucchini), sugar-snap peas (?? snow peas), shallots, red onions, and even cooking apples in future, but today I want the much maligned and under appreciated cauliflower to be the star of the show!

Before I get stuck into the recipes, let me be clear that all of them are mine, but two of them are based on recipes I found online.
I keep my recipes in a fantastic cross-platform app called Paprika, and when ever I adapt someone else’s recipe, I record a link to the original in the Notes section of the recipe.

Finally, before I describe them, here are the recipes! The PDF linked below contains the four recipes in one document, and all are printouts from Paprika, and for those of you who also use Paprika, the ZIP file contains the four recipes in Paprika format.

Something else to note is that as a science graduate, I mean what I type when I specify amounts — when my recipes say to use 1 tsp I mean one teaspoon measure, i.e. 5ml, I don’t mean one measure with that shallow little thing we use to stir tea or coffee with these days! Actual teaspoon and tablespoon measures are much bigger than the cutlery they’re named after.

?? Oh — and for my American readers, 200ºC is 400ºF ?

The PDF starts with the simplest recipe — this is my go-to on week days, and it gives a lot of room for variation, depending on what you’re serving it with, pair your oils and your acids to match the cuisine. If I’m cooking Mediterranean food I’ll use olive oil and lemon, if I’m cooking Moroccan food I’ll use olive oil and lime, if I’m cooking Asian food I’ll use groundnut oil, etc.. The paprika is optional, but it really helps the colour. I’m convinced that food that looks better tastes better to us, so don’t let your cauliflower come out all white and bland!

The next recipe is a spiced variant, but note that I said spiced, not spicy! What’s the difference? Some spices are spicy, but most are not! If you leave out the optional cayenne pepper the recipe is not spicy at all, but with that lovely sweet smoked paprika and that rich yellow turmeric it’s a treat for the tastebuds as well as the eyes! If I’m cooking something Indian, Thai, or Moroccan, this is my go-to cauliflower recipe.

The last two recipes are a little less versatile and are really only a good match with Asian food. Both have strong and opinionated flavours, and they’re both at least a little spicy, even if you leave out the optional fresh chillies. I tend to prefer the soy and chilli recipe with Japanese food, and the ginger, sesame, and Soy recipe with Chinese food, but either will work with either in most cases.

The bottom line is that none of these recipes are in any way difficult or time consuming, all are low in calories, and all are extremely flavourful. If you don’t enjoy cauliflower yet, I hope I’ve inspired you to give it another go!