The recipe below has been inspired by the vagaries of Cornwall’s weather at this time of year, when the first signs of spring can be obliterated in an instant by cold wind and driving rain. These elements of change leave us torn between wanting to cook with fresh, zingy flavours to awaken the palate for a new season, and a hankering for the warming comfort food you dream of after a cold surf or blustery walk. This recipe is Ben’s answer to that four-seasons-in-one-day dilemma, and one of his all-time favourites; enjoy!
Cauliflower- roasted with spices and tahini.
One good size head of cauliflower, trimmed of leaves
1 tsp of ground cumin
1tsp of ground coriander
1tsp caster sugar
Salt to taste
1 tsp smoked paprika
100g of butter- unsalted
2 tbl spoon of tahini (light)
100ml of ice cold water
½ a minced garlic clove
Salt to taste
Lemon zest and juice
Really good olive oil
20g of fresh coriander ripped up.
Set your oven at 180˚C.
Wash the cauliflower and pat dry. Place it on a roasting tin in the middle of the oven for 35mins until the cauliflower takes on a lovely deep brown colour and a knife goes easily into the core.
While the cauliflower is roasting, melt the butter over a low heat and add the spices. Stir to incorporate and season with the sugar and salt. Set this aside in a warm place.
For the tahini, get a bowl that will fit all the ingredients. Start with just the paste and add the garlic. Now slowly add the water and whisk it together. Don’t be surprised if it goes really thick, just keep adding the water until you reach a double cream consistency. Now season to taste and finish with a dash of olive oil.
Mix the fresh coriander and lemon zest together and pour over a good glug of olive oil.
To bring everything together, simply pour the tahini onto the bottom of a warm plate, place the cauliflower on the tahini and pour over the spiced butter with the olive oil to finish. Serve it to the centre of the table as a sharing dish. At Canteen, we love to accompany this cauliflower dish with a pile of soft flat breads and merguez sausages.
Also On Ben’s Seasonal Menu
Three-Cornered Leek – These wild leeks are everywhere in the early spring. The leeks work really well simply chargrilled, wrapped in wet paper and turned out in the middle of the table - just like the Spanish and Catalonians do their Calçots.
Forced Rhubarb – Bright pink forced rhubarb, available around now, roasted with honey and served warm with a massive spoon of clotted cream is quite simply the best thing you will eat in March!
Cornish New Potatoes – Here at Canteen the team are looking forward to the very first Cornish new potatoes – such a versatile ingredient. Try them served warm and dressed with a zingy salsa verde, roasted skin-on with rosemary sea salt, or a Greek-inspired side dish with yoghurt, garlic, bread crumbs and lots of lemon.