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Chestnut & sage stuffed, roasted cauliflower with cashew nuggets
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The idea of this may seem a little strange, but the result is wonderful! The crispy outside of the cauliflower contrasts with the juicy flesh, and the caramelised pesto filling is magnificent
Serves: 4 - 6
1 large cauliflower (approx 800g)
3 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp breadcrumbs
¼ x 25g pack parsley, chopped for garnish
For the stuffing
100g cashew nuts
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
100ml sunflower oil
25g pack flat or curly leaf parsley
10 fresh sage leaves
150g vacuum packed cooked chestnuts
Juice of 1 lemon
For the nuggets
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot, unpeeled, washed and coarsely grated
100g cashew nuts, toasted
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only, roughly chopped
5g fresh sage, leaves only, roughly chopped
150g of breadcrumbs (or gluten-free alternative)
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 tbsp tamari
½ tsp ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and carefully remove the stalk, ensuring the whole cauliflower head holds together. Fill a large saucepan with about 8cm of salted boiling water. Add the whole cauliflower, cover and cook over a high heat for 7-8 minutes. Remove carefully and set upside down on a baking tray to cool.
2. Meanwhile, blend all the stuffing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a narrow nozzle. Alternatively, make a small cut in the end of a disposable piping bag. Gently pipe between all the cauliflower florets and the base, filling any gaps with stuffing, using a skewer to help separate the florets as you go. Turn the cauliflower the right way up, season well, then brush with oil and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.
3. To make the nuggets, sauté the onion and garlic with 1 tbsp of oil for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly until translucent. Add the carrot and a pinch of salt, and sweat for 5 minutes more, stirring regularly, then remove from the heat.
4. Meanwhile, finely chop two-thirds of the roasted cashews in a food processor. Add this and all the remaining ingredients, other than the oil, to the carrot mixture with 1-2 tbsp water and mix well. Season to taste and shape into 10 golf ball-sized rounds, then flatten slightly into nuggets.
5. Add 1½ tbsp of oil to a non-stick frying pan and fry half the nuggets on each side for 1-2 minutes until brown and crispy. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the oil and nuggets. Serve with the cauliflower, scattered with parsley to garnish.
Cook’s tipThe nuggets can be cooked up to 24 hours in advance, then cooled, covered and kept in the fridge until needed. Simply reheat in the oven until piping hot throughout before serving.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in December 2018.