Deborah Ryan’s Cauliflower Flatbreads

I made these flatbreads about halfway through the thesis proofreading day

Cauliflower Flatbread. Photograph: Deborah Ryan

Cauliflower Flatbread. Photograph: Deborah Ryan

Fri, May 24, 2019, 17:24

  • Serves: 2
  • Cooking Time: 20 mins
  • Course: Starter
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • Cauliflower Flatbread (For one serving, plus lunch for the next day)
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 wholemeal flatbread
  • 1 tbsp beetroot tzatziki/hummus/mashed avocado.
  • 1 tbsp yoghurt
  • ½ garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 head of baby gem lettuce
  • Fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper


After making it through a sea of assignments and a thesis, I’m now holed up in my flat until exams are finished, devoid of sunlight, armed with a bag of coffee and stationary I will never use again once this month is over.

The last few days of the semester felt like we were all hovering around the same three locations; the library - where everyone typed furiously in this claustrophobia-inducing room, the print shop - where we all huddled and waited for our assignments to be bound, like some form of limbo, and then the dingy student pub, where we regrouped and scrounged together our last few euros left over to buy overpriced pints once the printing and binding costs were accounted for.

On the week before my thesis was due, I locked my older sister and my boyfriend, who had both graduated last year, into my cramped flat for a day so that they could proofread the draft and offer advice. In an effort to keep the graduates from thesis PTSD, I procured a bottle of Aperol and some cheap prosecco, stuffed my box freezer full of ice and served Aperol Spritz out of coffee mugs (wine glasses don’t stand a chance against students). It was also 22 degrees outside, not that we noticed or anything (they did).

I made these flatbreads about halfway through the thesis proofreading day, they don’t really involve much cooking and you can make them even when you’re a few mugs in (we’re all friends/students here). Just roast the cauliflower and then assemble the rest of the ingredients on top of the warm flatbread.

The ingredients are interchangeable, you could use regular hummus or mashed avocado instead of the yoghurt or beetroot hummus. The same thing for the spices, just use what you have or else just use salt and pepper. Keep the leftover cauliflower in a lunchbox in the fridge for lunch the next day, which is very suitable for when your mind says, “You’re tired, go out to eat” but your wallet says, “No, you’re insolvent”.

Cauliflower Flatbread (For one serving, plus lunch for the next day)

* Turn the oven onto 180. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

* Cut around the stem of the cauliflower to release the florets. If the pieces are quite big, just cut them into smaller pieces. The smaller they are, the faster they’ll cook, the faster you get to eat.

* Place the cauliflower on the baking tray and drizzle with the oil. Add the spices, salt, pepper and mix together. Roast for around 20 minutes, you want them to get slightly charred. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes.

* Meanwhile, finely dice the garlic and add to the yoghurt with a pinch of salt and pepper.

* Wash the baby gem, dry well and either tear into chunks or slice finely.

* Warm up the flatbread and spread the yoghurt and beetroot on either side of the flatbread.

* Top with the baby gem, a handful of cauliflower and the mint leaves if using. Eat immediately whilst staring into the abyss of your laptop.