Roast Cauliflower

Roast Cauliflower

The print had barely dried on Domini Kemp`s recipe in last Saturday`s Irish Times, before I`d a fine head of cauliflower in my hot little claw. She wanted me to roast it and I could barely wait to try it.

Caulis are a much neglected veg in the Chook House. There is hope for Teen girl, but alas, it will take the urgings of a better woman to convert her brothers. No problem. That meant, when I`d get to try this recipe, there`d be all the more for me. Greed is good . At least when it comes to scoffing cauliflower.

Confession: I replaced the basil with parsley, as that was all I had to hand. No whole wheat spag in the Chook House either. I made do with ordinary
Boast: I actually had a splash of wine left, after last Friday`s and Saturday`s adventures with a dubious white.

So here it is then. I give you…

Roast Cauliflower Spaghetti


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Scrape of nutmeg or pinch of chilli flakes
  • A couple of knobs of butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Splash white wine
  • Basil leaves
  • 250-300g whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 50g hazelnuts, lightly toasted
  • Hard goat’s cheese or Pecorino to garnish (optional)

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees/gas 6. Cut the cauliflower into florets, give them a little rinse and shake off excess water (you don’t want them steaming). Put them into a roasting tin, sprinkle with half the olive oil and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg or chilli. Roast for 20-30 minutes. You want a little char and crunch. Don’t fret about turning your oven up full blast and tweaking cooking times. You can toast your hazelnuts while your oven is preheating – but keep an eye on them. They won’t take kindly to a temperature of 200 degrees, so catch the oven on the way up.
Meanwhile, heat up the butter, add the garlic and then the white wine and roughly chopped basil. Season and set aside. Cook your spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water, drain, then add the two tablespoons of olive oil and mix with a pasta spoon or tongs so the oil coats the spaghetti. Season with some salt and pepper. Put it back in the big saucepan and add the butter sauce and roasted cauliflower and toss. Spoon into bowls, and top with the hazelnuts and some grated cheese.

More Chook Notes:

I roasted the hazelnuts in a frying pan because I`ve a predilection for burning things so I could keep a better eye on them that way.And  I checked and tossed the cauliflower, as Domini suggested, just to make sure they were roasting nicely.

I really enjoyed the combination of flavours in this dish and am looking forward to seeing how it copes with reheating for lunch at work today. The garlic should keep my colleagues at bay too.

Five Chook Stars then, for this very useful recipe.


Another day. Another Running Pass.Sigh.

Well, in truth, I was busy. Busy setting up for another working week.And trying to incorporate some new dietary ideas that would help my running. But, which, ironically, would mean that I wouldn`t quite get time for running.

Fear not. Everything`s under control. And I still managed to fulfil my Janathon exercise duty.

I`ve been impressed by all the talk about vegetarianism.Spent a good deal of time in bed this morning, to that very end. Strictly in the interests of research, you`ll understand. And on my laptop, if you must know.

Thus inspired, I took leave of my boudoir to indulge in a head long investigation of my cupboards. Chick peas. Tick. Lentils. Tick. Clearly, I had been on this veg kick before. No, I didn`t let the little matter of best before dates spoil my fun.

The vegetable rack I`d already packed with an assortment of goodies. So I set up a great big roasting pan for baking turnip, parsnip, red onion, garlic, squash and carrot. Lots of cutting and cubing and moaning from the Teens ensued. And, to appeash said Teens I also baked brownies, a sponge cake and fruit scones. The wholemeal scones I made are for me. But that`s okay with them, of course. I also made lasagne. Yes, there`s minced beef in there ;-o. But less than usual, and I sneaked in extra garlic and carrot. Small steps, right?

Didn`t get to run though. But did get to indulge in two glasses of wine with my roast veg dinner.And passed on the lasagne. And..and…

Did some core exercises! Yay! This has to be the most neglected aspect of my training. I`ve only done them twice before. I do go through some yoga phases but really, is there anything to beat the pain, the sheer boredom of stomach crunches? Or that damned and ridiculous bicycle?

And do they work, anyway? Yes, I really need to hear someone jump up and shout “I turned my flabby belly into a washboard by doing one hundred sit ups a day”

Or even tell me if you know a friend of a friend who flattened their bellies through core exercise.

Or just tell me how your friend of a friend flattened their bellies anyway. Short of major plastic surgery, I really don`t see someone could shift that most stubborn of bulges to reveal a smooth clear line.

I defied my lack of faith in the process, however, to download the ap. Yes, ap! Gosh, I just so love that phones aren`t phones anymore. The Play store provided a range of option but, being a meany, I went for “ Core Trainer Free”.

This was purely on a whim. I`ve no idea how it compares with other aps. If you`ve found a good one, though, I`m all ears.

This one gives me various training plans, including the basics for Weeks 1-3 which I followed tonight.This has nine different exercises, including aforementioned crunch and bicycle kick. On the plus side, using the ap was easy peasy, as opposed to using a book or peering at a chart for the correct methodology. Kinda awkward jumping up and down to look at charts and books, mid crunch. Really nice using the phone, since I`m permanently attached to it anyway.

Frankly, I don`t believe it will make a significant difference. But, since real runners rave about it, I have to commit to doing it. Three times a week for the next six weeks should reveal something. Like maybe some kind of ripped, rather than rippling effect?Yes, I know I should do a before pic. And I will. But, for now at any rate, it will be for my eyes only.

rippedMeanwhile, you`ll have to make do with this, my wannabe “after” pic….