The Cauliflower - a personal note from Yotam
It’s funny that of all the vegetables in the world I chose cauliflower. I guess this means that I am now well and truly over a little childhood trauma from when I was growing up in my native Israel.
I assume that I started off liking this beautiful white head very much. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have told my grandmother that I liked it and as a result I wouldn’t have been served it religiously, every Saturday, for as long as I can remember. Her cauliflower was very delicious, but it was the forced predictability of it that put me off cauliflower for quite a while.
I am now older and wiser and ready to convert the rest of the world. I am absolutely sure that the recent decline in popularity has got nothing to do with cauliflower itself. It’s just that most Brits probably suffer from a similar childhood trauma to mine of over-exposure, and not always to the best versions.
In my restaurants in London we use an abundance of seasonal vegetables, all year round, and we put endless energy and creativity into making them taste great and look sexy. With cauliflower, we tend to do a lot of frying or char-grilling. There is nothing like a deep-fried cauliflower, either in a light tempura batter or in breadcrumbs. This is something my mom used to cook for me and was always a treat. Char-grilling enhances the flavour, and breaks the whiteness: whatever it takes to get the maximum of flavour, texture and look.
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