We sowed just a small number of cauliflowers this year, not yet convinced that their taste is sufficiently superior to shop-bought ones to justify the space they take over a long growing season.
One evening last week I harvested our first cauliflower head, of the October-cropping variety Regata F1. The curds were dense and firm, with some slight discolouration where the recent rains had begun to take their toll without the leaves sufficiently pulled up to protect them fully, but they scrubbed up well in the kitchen, and weighed in at a hefty 850g with the leaves and stalk removed.
With part of the curds I decided to make a side-dish to accompany a piece of fish, and chose a stir-fried sesame cauliflower recipe from the River Cottage ‘Everyday Veg’ book. To make this dish, I also harvested our first chilli from the greenhouse. This little fruit was only the size of my thumbnail, and still green, so I hadn’t expected it to pack much punch, and chopped it and threw it in.
We both really enjoyed the dish; the cauliflower had a great texture and clean fresh flavour, though the chilli turned out to be particularly fierce. I soon realised that this was a Habanero pepper, which we’ve grown this year for the first time, whose innocent looks and small size rather belied its fiery taste. Next time, perhaps a little less chilli…