Cauliflower with Macadamia Nut and Kaiserfleisch

This cauliflower vegetarian dish encompasses all the flavours, nutrients and textures required to make it the perfect entree and it'll have you coming back for seconds!

Recipe by: Ben Trobbiani - Contestant

Serves: 4 as entree or side dish

Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower:

Pickled Cauliflower:

Confit Cauliflower Stem:

Roasted Macadamia Nuts:

Macadamia and Cauliflower Puree:

Charred Cauliflower Leaves:

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Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. To prepare the cauliflower, remove and discard the tougher outer leaves. Reserve 8 softer leaves and the inner light green leaves and set aside.
  3. Cut florets from the cauliflower. Set aside ¼ of the florets for the puree, 2 florets for pickling, and the remainder for roasting. Peel the stem and cut into 6cm x 2cm rectangle and set aside.
  4. For the Roasted Cauliflower, place the florets onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Generously coat with olive oil and place into the oven and roast until deep golden and slightly charred, approximately 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, season with salt to taste and set aside.
  6. For the Pickled Cauliflower Leaves and Florets, place vinegar, caster sugar, salt and peppercorns into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
  7. Place the florets and leaves in two separate glass bowls and pour the pickling liquid over each. Set aside to pickle, stirring gently occasionally, for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve. Drain well.
  8. For the Confit Cauliflower Stem, using a vegetable peeler, peel the trimmed stem into ribbons and place into small saucepan. Cover with the oil.
  9. Place over a very low heat until the ribbons are tender and easily pierced by a knife, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Carefully remove the ribbons from the oil and set aside.
  10. For the Roasted Macadamia Nuts, place the macadamia nuts onto a baking tray and roast in the oven until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  11. Once finished, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Reserve 75g macadamias in a saucepan for the puree. Cut the remaining macadamias into halves and set aside for garnishing the plates.
  12. For the Cauliflower and Macadamia Nut Puree, place the ingredients, except the butter, into the saucepan with the macadamias. Place over low-medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Do not boil.
  13. Continue to simmer the mixture until cauliflower is tender, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  14. Remove from the heat. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid and set aside.
  15. Place the cauliflower, macadamias and butter into the canister of a stick blender. Add 1-2 tablespoons of reserved cooking liquid and process until smooth, adding more liquid if required. Pass puree through a fine sieve. Season with salt to taste and set aside, keeping warm until needed.
  16. For the Charred Cauliflower Leaves, place a large frypan over a medium-low heat. Add the Kaiserflesh and fry to release the fat, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
  17. Remove the Kaiserflesh, reserving as much fat as possible in the pan.
  18. Increase the heat to high. Working in batches, fry the cauliflower leaves on both sides in the fat until crisp and dark green for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside on paper towel.
  19. Reserve the remaining fat in the pan for serving.
  20. To serve, spoon the puree into the centre of each plate, then spread into a rectangular shape. Scatter the puree with the remaining elements and finish with a drizzle of the reserved fat from the pan. Garnish with roasted macadamia halves.
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