Healthy and delicious
It's pizza, but not as you know it. Crumbed and roasted cauliflower makes a gluten-free alternative to dough, writes DOMINI KEMP
My sister-in-law is gorgeous. Doris Choi is a raw food, detoxing New York chef and is absolute proof that you are what you eat. She wasn’t always this abstemious, but a few years ago she hooked up with raw food guru Natalia Rose and together they have combined their talents in the recently published, Fresh Energy Cookbook.
It’s a great book full of interesting nutritional bits about detoxing, food combining and making the body less acidic, all of which to help promote a better, healthier lifestyle.
I can attest to the fact that Choi’s food is great. Every summer she comes to Brittas Bay to spend two weeks in the freezing cold with her Irish husband, their baby son and extended family. Together, we cook up vast quantities of food each night – some healthy, some not so healthy – for a massive number of friends, family and a herd of children. I love hanging out with her in the kitchen.
Each year, we swap notes, recipes and ideas, as well as drink a beer on the sly and steal the children’s crisps. (Yes, even health-nut-angels can fall off their perch for a pack of Tayto.)
So I was delighted to get a copy of her book from Amazon. I knew that December was not the time to introduce these recipes, but that January is. With cupboards bare of chocolate and crisps, it’s time to let the games begin.
This cauliflower pizza is superb. I am a big, big fan of cauliflower but tend just to roast it with curry powder, turmeric, olive oil and a little salt. In this recipe, the florets get blitzed to form cauliflower crumbs that then get bound up with some goat’s cheese and an egg. When you spread it out and bake it, you end up with a fabulous golden brown base that is veggie, gluten-free and very good for you.
The kedgeree was also fantastic – the three-year-old wolfed it down after some adjustments were made to it (see below) and it will definitely fit into a midweek supper repertoire. It took less than 45 minutes from start to table.
CAULIFLOWER, COURGETTE AND GOAT’S CHEESE PIZZA
This would easily serve four to six, but it is quite more-ish and surprisingly filling. I think it’s better when it cools down to room temperature. I used Old MacDonnells Farm goat’s cheese, though St Tola would also be soft enough to use.
For the base
1 head cauliflower
200g soft goat’s cheese
1 tsp dried thyme
Good glug olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, cored and roughly chopped
Pinch chilli flakes
1 tin tomatoes
1-2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Pinch smoked sweet paprika or cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
100g of your favourite goat’s cheese
To make the base, remove the green stalks (these are good when you’re roasting cauliflower, but don’t work here) and cut or break the florets into small pieces. Blend in a food processor on pulse mode until you make white “breadcrumbs” that look a little damp. Don’t over process, but do make sure it’s fully ground up.
In a large bowl, mix the crumbs with the goat’s cheese, thyme and egg. It’s almost like beating sugar and butter together with no electric beater. I just did it with a spatula, and it’s easier if the cheese is soft and at room temperature. Eventually you will feel that everything isreasonably well distributed.