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6th Dec, 2021

Recipes From My Travel - Try this spiced cauliflower with couscous to get a taste of Slovenia

Solihull Editorial 16th Oct, 2021

CHEF and blogger Paul James writes for our paper.

I thought I would knock up this very simple vegan/vegetarian dish.

My nephew Gary and his bride to be, Hannah are getting married next year in Slovenia, so just in case I can’t get to the wedding, here’s a little reminder of what I might be missing.

I tried to create the dish using herbs and spices that are more commonly used in the country.

Fresh vegetables are also popular in their cuisine and one dish that is also highly regarded is a salad made out of dandelions!

I thought about it but decided to give this a swerve as I remember my mum telling me off when I was a little lad because I was trying to pick dandelions to make dandelion and burdock pop – I was even creative then.

I presume she was telling me off because of what dogs may do on them – I suppose a bit like the ‘don’t eat yellow snow’ warning.

Anyway, back to the recipe – I’m so easily sidetracked when I’m reminiscing….

At first I wasn’t sure of the pickled cauliflower leaves, that’s why I added a bit of fruit for added sweetness and also to bring colours to the plate.

To be honest the balance of flavours were just on point.

Overall I was really happy with the dish and it’s definitely one I will be cooking again.

Enjoy!

Visit recipesfrommytravels.com for more on Paul’s blog and his recipes.

Slovenian spiced cauliflower with couscous and pickled cauliflower leaves

INGREDIENTS

For the spiced cauliflower

1 cauliflower

1tsp of dried Thyme

2tsps of dried or fresh Rosemary

2tsps of Fennel seeds

2tsps of sweet Cinnamon

1tsp of dried Mint

1tsp of Oregano

2tsp paprika

Fresh parsley for decoration.

Olive oil to mix.

 

For the couscous

150g of couscous

Half a red onion very finely sliced

Grapes

Blueberry

Raspberry

Dash of passata to the dry mixture for colour

salt and pepper

150ml of Vegan stock

 

For the pickled cauliflower leaves

50ml of apple cider vinegar

40g of Demerara sugar

Squeeze of lemon over the leaves while they are cooling.

Cauliflower leaves

 

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and leave to one side

2. Blend the herbs and spices quickly and mix together ingredients in a bowl, then loosen it up with the olive oil. Brush the mixture all over the cauliflower and place in the hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cauliflower has a nice colour and is tender when pierced with a knife. Leave to cool.

3. To pickle the leaves, bring the cider vinegar, and the sugar to the boil in a pan and stir to ensure the sugar has dissolved.

4. Cut the cauliflower leaves into bite-size pieces. Place in a bowl and pour over the hot pickling liquor. Leave to cool.

5. Once cooled, drain on some kitchen towel and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

6. Place the couscous in a tray or shallow bowl. Add the dash of passata and the onion and pour over 150ml of boiling water and cover. Leave the couscous to cook and absorb the liquid for five minutes.

7. After five minutes, fluff up the couscous with a fork. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

8. Cut the cauliflower into chunky slices or ‘steaks’ and serve with the pickled leaves and couscous.

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