Cauliflower en croute with roasted red pepper sauce

Makes: 1
Course: Dinner, Main
Cooking Time: 50 mins
Prep Time: 15 mins
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp pesto
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan, and extra to serve
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • Small bunch parsley, leaves picked
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 tsp pesto
  • 1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp cream or coconut milk

1. Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and compost them or set aside for later use, see kitchen tips. Fill a large pan with boiling water, add the turmeric and salt.

2. Once the water comes to a simmer add the cauliflower, ensuring it sits comfortably under the dark ochre water. Leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes until the centre stalk is fork-tender. Carefully remove the cauliflower from the water and set aside to drain and cool fully. Ensure as much water as possible drains away. Blot dry with a kitchen towel.

3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Mix the pesto and Parmesan together, spread the puff pastry with the pesto mix. Cover the cauliflower with the pastry, pesto side down tucking it in at the base neatly. Sit it on a lined baking tray and brush with egg wash.

4. Arrange the parsley leaves on top of the pastry.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes till puffed and golden.

6. Meanwhile, place the peppers and tomatoes on another tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast till the tomatoes almost burst and the peppers are charred. This should take about 20 minutes. Set the tomatoes aside.

7. Remove the skins and seeds from the pepper, see tips. Blitz the peppers with a teaspoon of pesto, smoked sweet paprika, cream, salt and pepper along with all the cooking juices. Taste for seasoning.

8. Serve thick slices of cauliflower with the roasted tomatoes, pepper sauce and freshly grated Parmesan.

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a food writer