The Cauliflower head (white curd) is eaten and has a mild taste. They are high in Vitamin C and fibre but low in fat.
Cauliflower deserves to be savoured, try this for a starter!
1 small cauliflower
Semi-skimmed milk (enough to cover the cauliflower while cooking)
1 bay leaf
1 clove (Optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cheese
1-1.5 litres sunflower oil, for deep frying
200g soft cheese, such as camembert or brie, cut into bite-sized pieces or wedges
Plain flour, for coating
2 eggs, Free range lightly whisked
2-3 handfuls fresh breadcrumbs, for coating
Divide the cauliflower into florets. Cut any green bits from the stems, but chop up the stalk and stems to use in the dish, too, because they will give a stronger flavour. Put the pieces of cauliflower into a saucepan and add enough milk just to cover. Add the bay leaf and clove, and bring to a gentle simmer. When the pieces of cauliflower are tender, remove the clove and bay leaf, and blitz the cauliflower and milk in a food processor until you have a smooth purée; season to taste.
Pour the oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan to a depth of at least 15cm, and heat – it's hot enough when a cooking thermometer reads 180C or when a cube of white bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in a minute. While the fat is heating up, coat each piece of cheese in flour, knock off the excess, roll in the egg until covered, then roll in the breadcrumbs until well coated. Repeat the egg-and-breadcrumb stage once more for a double coating, so the cheese is completely sealed. Fry until lightly golden all over. Serve with the warm cauliflower purée.
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