Dinner dilemma? You need Melissa Hemsley's easy-peasy, super-healthy fried chermoula cauliflower on herby bean dip with slaw. I'll be around at 7, OK?
What are you having for dinner tonight? Pasta and pesto? Beans on toast? A packet of biscuits? (Hey, has someone installed a spy camera in my kitchen?) Never fear, Muddy is here to enliven your midweek meals. Well, more accurately, Melissa Hemsley, whose new book Eat Green has just come out, is your gal.
Her recipes focus on healthy, veg-packed, easy dishes that minimise food waste – the A-Z of commonly wasted ingredients is especially useful (did you know that if you bung leftover humous into soup, it gives it a pleasing garlicky creaminess? You do now.) We’ve got an interview with the author here but if you’re too hungry to wait, let’s get cooking pronto. What’s on the menu, Melissa?
Fried Chermoula Cauliflower on Herby Bean Dip with Slaw
These spiced cauliflower steaks on green dip steal the show at any dinner party, but are super simple for a mid-week dinner too. They come together in 30 minutes on the nose! If you want to get ahead, the dip and slaw can be made in advance, then dress the slaw while you’re cooking the cauliflower. You’ll want to try the chermoula-esque spice mix on everything, or you could fry it with onion for the base of a pumpkin soup. Serves 2 with leftovers.
1 medium cauliflower, save the leaves (about 800g)
2 tbsp ghee or oil
Sea salt and black pepper
For the chermoula spice mix:
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp ground coriander
Chilli flakes or 1⁄4 tsp cayenne, to taste
For the herby bean dip:
240g cooked white beans or chickpeas (1 × 400g tin, drained and rinsed)
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 big handful of a mix of fresh parsley and coriander, leaves and stems roughly chopped separately
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
For the slaw:
1/4 red cabbage (150g), finely shredded
1 green apple, cut into matchsticks
1 celery stick and leaves, sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp mustard
Preheat the oven to fan 220°C/Gas mark 9. Slice two 2–3cm thick steaks off the cauliflower and roughly chop the remaining cauliflower florets and the leaves, keeping them separate.
Mix together all the ingredients for the chermoula.
Put the cauliflower florets in a roasting tray with 1 tablespoon of the ghee or oil, half of the chermoula spice mix, sea salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15–20 min- utes, adding the chopped cauliflower leaves halfway through and tossing everything together.
Melt the remaining ghee or oil in a large frying pan and fry the cauliflower steaks for 2 minutes on each side, then add the remaining spice mix and carefully turn again, coating the steaks in the spice. Cook for a further 2 minutes until just tender (you could now pop in the oven to keep warm).
Meanwhile, mix all the slaw ingredients together with the parsley and coriander leaves in a medium bowl and season to taste.
Blitz all the dip ingredients in a food processor with the parsley and coriander stems and taste for seasoning. Add 2–4 tablespoons cold water until nice and thick. Divide the green bean dip between the plates, drizzle with olive oil and top with the hot cauliflower steak and the florets and leaves. Serve the slaw on top or on the side.
Extracted from Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley (Ebury Press, £20). Photography by Philippa Langley