Cauliflower leaves

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DO NOT discard your cauliflower leaves! On this blog post I’ll tell you why, but if you’re adventurous enough just click here and go grab the recipe.

Internet is flooded with the most different cauliflower recipes. Just for fun I typed “cauliflower + recipes” and the oracle presented me with nothing less than 58 million and 400 thousand results in 55 seconds.

From cheesy casseroles to fitness versions, with articles promising the “48 best cauliflower recipes we want to eat all the time” and “the 50+ best cauliflower recipes of all time”, we can apparently please anyone.

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Of course you shall not be spared a cauliflower recipe on this blog – specially considering I have a lovely piece here at home – worry not.

Here in France there are two different ways to buy cauliflower and, rarely, we can control it. I think it might have something to do with season and supply/demand issues. Sometimes they sell it by the kilo and sometimes you buy per unit. Either way, one can panic by seeing all those huge leaves that are going to be charged (wether by the weight or by the fact that you have a tine cauliflower hidden inside all the bushes) and it’s all going to waste.

I was talking to Dr Elizabeth Brenda on Instagram and she told me that cauliflower is filled with “suuuuuuper powerful antioxidants and they are good for all our organs. They improve de imune system and, as a bonus, he help prevent the growth of tumors.” Let me continue to quote the Dr. for she adds: ” And if you have the same power on the leaves that you have on the flowers, why pay something and throw it away?”

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You go, Dra Elizabeth!!! I don’t know about you but I’m the kind of girl who feels deeply concerned when it touches my pockets. And that’s what thrives us into going like crazy trying to find different ways to use those leaves and have the illusion of seeing the value of the investment. Composting is super high trend but, let’s face it, it’s far far far aways from the reality of my small Parisian flat – and maybe from the reality of the majority of us. We all know about green juice, but I must confess that I’m not a green juice fan. Actually, I hate green juice. I eat my greens. I can drink my oranges and reds as you’ve already seen here on this super yummy juice recipe, but green juice is not my ‘jar of juice’. We  can use peels and leaves to make veggie broth, but, there’s a small tiny issue with this option. First of all that’s far from being a new information and, besides, in a certain way, you must have time to spare to make the broth (and you need to use it).

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Then I ask you, what the average person who just wanted to cook an ordinary cauliflower can do with the remains of the rainforest that comes with it? I ask and I answer: YOU EAT IT! Yes, you just eat it. As if it was the actual cauliflower, because it tastes quite similar.

Here I’m just popping with a quick suggestion on how to braise the cauliflower leaves as you would with escarole or kale, but you have limitless choices for it. I’m living the confinement here in Paris due do Covid-19 and I must make the most out of the food I have in hand. With that, I’ll also take this time to make some tests. Little by little, I’ll share them on my Instagram account @luferrari12 – go follow me not to miss the adventures of the cauliflower leaves during the French quarantine.

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If you’re still not convinced, I’ll leave you with a last statement from Dra Elizabeth: “cauliflower leaves have loads of fiber and they help balance our intestinal flora as pre and probiotics, they improve intestinal functioning and help regulate glucose in a slightly eventual more abundant meal. In addition to the zero-waste sustainable aspect.”

Ready?

CAULIFLOWER LEAVES

Ingredients
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5 cauliflower leaves

1/2 medium onion

1 garlic clove

1/2 leek

1/2 bell pepper (optional)

Salt, black pepper and fine herbs

1 tablespoon of mustard

How to?

Our main goal here is zero waste, so, we’re using the leaves and the stalk, ok? Grab about 5 leaves of the cauliflower bouquet and wash it well. It’s not a pandemic thing, you always have to wash your vegetables – even organic ones – because you don’t want to eat bugs and dirt and chop them. (Watch the video below for a suggestion of how to cut the leaves – and a preview of my lack of cooking techniques- , but you can just do as you want).

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Braise the garlic, onion and the leek. Once it’s slightly soft you can add the bell peppers (if you’re doing bell peppers) and let it cook for about 3 minutes.

Add the chopped cauliflower, salt, pepper and the herbs of your choice (I did fine herbs, but you can use oregano, basil, parsley… whatever you like) top it with 200ml of water, cover the pan and let it cook for about 10 minutes for a al dente consistency, or 15 minutes if you want your veggies to be softer.

When it’s done, turn the heat of and add a tablespoon full of mustard. Just plain, ordinary mustard, but do choose a nice one, please. Stir il well, place the lid on and let it cook in the remaining heat for about 2 minutes for it to get the mustard flavours. You’ll see that’s going to create a creamy consistency, and you also have the yummyness of the mustard taste.

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Taste to adjust salt and pepper and it’s ready to serve.

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My first attempt was to eat it plain simple, as a side dish. I just added some leftover cabbage I had on the fridge and voilà. Total succes!

I saved some on the fridge to make our famous microwave omelette that we love so much (recipe here). And it was amazing!

The next attempt will be using it as a pie filling. Whatever pie or muffin recipe you have in hand. I have two suggestions here: the tapioca flour muffin and the NO flour chickpea pie crust.

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Now’s your time to shine. Let’s cook those cauliflower leaves and share the results with me, please. I’m also all up for suggestions on different ways to enjoy this beauties.

 

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