PREPARATION TIME - 20 minutes, plus cooling
COOKING TIME - 20 minutes
My friend Ben Denner, who runs burger restaurant Lucky Chip and grill restaurant Licky Chops, blew my mind one day with the simplest barbecued head of broccoli with yogurt and mustard seeds. It was a testament to great ingredients being cooked simply and showed that brassicas take well to a barbecue or griddle pan. So I went away and experimented with some cauliflower and came up with this show-stopper.
What you'll need:
1 cauliflower, leaves removed and carved into stalk
For the curry oil:
150ml vegetable oil
handful of curry leaves
1 teaspoon curry powder
For the cashew nut brittle:
100g caster sugar
100g cashew nuts, roasted
For the curried hummus:
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 x 300g tub of hummus
For the dressing:
½ small bunch of coriander
leaves, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
squeeze of lemon juice
sea salt flakes
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the cauliflower and poach for 3–4 minutes, or until cooked but still pretty al dente. Drain and then transfer to a bowl of iced water to cool down quickly. Leave for 2 minutes, then drain again and pat dry with kitchen paper.
To make the curry oil, heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the curry leaves and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the curry powder, turn off the heat and leave to infuse until the oil is cold. Strain the oil into a jug and discard the leaves.
To make the cashew nut brittle, make a dry caramel by melting the sugar in a small frying pan over a lowish heat until it becomes a rich golden mahogany colour. Add the cashew nuts and stir quickly, then pour on to parchment paper and leave to cool. When completely cool, use a knife to chop the brittle into 5mm pieces or blitz quickly in a food processor to break up.
To make the curried hummus, pour one-third of the curry oil into a bowl with the curry powder and hummus and mix. To make the dressing, pour one-third of the curry oil into a bowl with the coriander, chilli and lemon juice, season with salt and mix well. Light a barbecue or heat up a griddle pan until searingly hot. Cut the cauliflower into 4 through the root and rub the remaining curry oil over the cauliflower. Grill it until golden and charred on all sides. Divide the hummus between 4 plates and smooth out.
Top the hummus with a wedge of cauliflower, drizzle with a little of the dressing, sprinkle over some of the cashew nut brittle and Crispy Shallots and serve.
Gizzi's Healthy Appetite, by Gizzi Erskine is published by Mitchell Beazley, £25 (www.octopusbooks.co.uk)