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Cauliflower – Unchained

The 10 best cauliflower recipes

We prise the humble cauliflower away from its cheese-sauce comfort zone and explore its uses as a pizza base, in savoury cakes and even as a Persian tortilla

Whole roast cauliflower with cumin, sumac and lemon. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian

Whole roast cauliflower with cumin, sumac and lemon

It’s just a regular, humble, garden cauliflower, but there’s something really exciting about seeing it come out of the oven whole. Think of this as an edible centrepiece to hack away at, cutting chunks off the main stem, throughout your meal.

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Click for recipes

Pizza with cauliflower crust

Pizza with cauliflower crust. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian

The aim with a root vegetable crust is to make something crispy that can be eaten by hand, without it falling apart. Many recipes use lots of eggs, but this one opts for cauliflower and goat’s cream cheese. It works well with a slightly different, less cheesy topping.

Cauliflower and pear bake

This dish from Israel makes a fine accompaniment to all roasts and kebabs.

Caramelised cauliflower soup

This is a delightfully textured soup. If you want more richness, replace some of the broth with cream and dress it up with cheese or browned butter. If you halve the broth, you get a nice puree to use as an alternative to mashed potatoes.

Spanish crisp cauliflower. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian

Spanish crisp cauliflower

This is a delightfully textured soup. If you want more richness, replace some of the broth with cream and dress it up with cheese or browned butter. If you halve the broth, you get a nice puree to use as an alternative to mashed potatoes.

Cauliflower omelette

This is a Persian kookoo recipe. The word is usually translated as omelette, but it more closely resembles a savoury vegetable cake, very much like a Spanish tortilla, and is delicious eaten hot or cold.

Gratin de chou-fleur

Comté adds a subtle French flavour to this easy-going, comforting dish. If you like, you can spruce it up by flavouring the bechamel with turmeric and adding a handful of chopped hazelnuts to the cauliflower, or by adding truffle juice to the bechamel and sprinkling a few slivers of black truffle amid the florets.

Quinoa, cauliflower and ramsons cakes

In season, ramsons (wild garlic) are the best flavour for these cakes. If you cannot find ramsons, use fresh spinach and add two cloves of crushed garlic.

Black pepper tempeh

This recipe isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s a substantial meal-in-a-pan exploding with spicy, peppery, garlicky, gingery flavours. Finely chop the cauliflower into quick-cooking pieces. If you don’t have coconut oil to hand, use clarified butter or extra virgin olive oil instead.

Roasted cauliflower tart with oat-walnut crust and lemon herb filling

This tart turns roasted cauliflower into a complete meal. The addition of lemon gives it a welcome lift and complements the buttery flavour of toasted walnuts too. Serve it slightly warm or at room temperature with a salad for a perfect spring meal.

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