Some Like It Hot

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.

Cauliflower curds 'Regata F1'

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.

Homegrown habenero and cauliflower

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. Β 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…

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14 thoughts on “Some Like It Hot

  1. Chillies are difficult to gauge. Always depends on the season too and how much water they receive. Your Cauliflower looks amazing, I never grow them now as I’ve had so little success in the past and at least broccoli (which I prefer) can be used in lots of different ways and it keeps cropping (albeit smaller heads) all through the winter. Christina

    • Indeed, I’ve kept these on the dry side this year, and they were late-sown so have been later than usual, so we hadn’t tried any before. At least this one wasn’t so hot as to be inedible! I’m really pleased with the cauliflower, we’ve ‘forgotten’ to harvest them in time previously. I agree that broccoli would be more versatile, but the cauliflower has been lovely for a change.

  2. Ouuuuuch – I imagine that copious water was downed afterwards. Not a lover of hot and spicy so cauliflower cheese is the extent of my cauli cuisine.

  3. Oh well done you. I tried to grow cauliflowers, last year they got browned by the sun, this year they were all eaten 😦

    • Thanks, ours have previously been decimated by caterpillars/slugs or spoiled by sun/rain before we noticed them, so it’s a bit of a novelty to catch one at the right time!

  4. I’ve never tried growing cauliflower, I think the boys (sadly) wont eat it, they love broccoli but I just can’t convince them to like cauliflower and I’ve given up growing anything that they wont eat or at least try. Your chillies sound fun/scary. Your Day out at Perch Hill sounded fabulous! Bethx

    • Ah – not even cauliflower cheese? I used to love that as a kid. I made it this week for the first time since I left home, I think! It definitely has warm fuzzy childhood associations – and was just as good as I’d remembered.

      • I gave them cauliflower cheese last weekend with our roast, as they used to eat it when they were small, but they both turned their noses up 😦 I made them eat a bit (as I always do, they should at least try everything), not sure what the problem is, I think the texture. I LOVED it!! Bx

        • Ah, that’s odd, I’d have thought you couldn’t go wrong with lashings of cheese sauce! 😦 I suppose it can be quite mushy, and not a very exciting colour… I loved it this week too!! πŸ™‚

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