Cauliflower is King – Review

- Advertisement -


The moment Leanne Kitchen tells me that she has been roasting cauliflower since the early 80s she has my respect.  At the time I am sure many of were still over cooking our cauli in a pot of boiling water and then drowning it in cheese sauce.  With years of cooking, styling, travelling, writing and photographing food I guess that Leanne was always going to be at the forefront of trends and taste.

There is not doubt about it that cauliflower is currently enjoying a moment and much of this is possibly attributed to whoever realised that blitzing cauliflower in the food processor would create fine granules that could be used as a substitute for rice.  Perfect for those wanting to reduce their carbohydrate intake.  Similarly those same grains can be combined with a few other ingredients and pressed to form a pizza base, low carb and no gluten.
The bloggers in the blogosphere are loving it and have raised the popularity of cauliflower so much that it truly is enjoying an elevated status – Cauliflower is King!
Has anyone else noticed how incensed we get when due to weather and seasonality the price of cauliflower elevates?  Once upon a time it would have barely caused a flicker.

Forgetting carbohydrates, cauliflowers are actually really good for us, they are rich in a nutrient called choline, an excellent brain food, helping to repair and maintain cell membranes (as quoted from CIK).  Mix that in with a healthy dose of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and you have all the reasons to include cauls’s in your cooking.  Oh and of course it tastes good – not just good but delicious!

While the English were giving cauli’s a bad rap by boiling them to within an inch of their life (and further), other cultures around the world were making delicious recipes that have stood the test of time. It is variations on these delicious recipes that Leanne Kitchen embraces in Cauliflower is King.  While the English get the credit for cauliflower to India, it is the Indians that created cauliflower curries, Dahl, kedgeree and bhaji, all of which you will find in the book.
The Italians, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooks have always revered cauliflower and treated it accordingly, partnering it with exotic spices herbs and oil without a pan of boiling water in sight.  Whole Roast Cauliflower with Zhough, Tahini Cream and Pomegranate is high on my list of what to make next.

Cauliflower is King contains 70 cauliflower recipes, predominantly savoury but you will also find cauliflower smuggled into a Lime and Coconut Cheesecake and a Chocolate Brownie.
There is loads of extra info and the book has a smart contemporary style.
The gold foil edged pages had me in a second and that was before I slowly savoured every page.

If you would like to win one of 3 copies of
Cauliflower is King by Leanne Kitchen (Published  by Murdoch Books) RRP $22.99
Then simply leave a comment at the bottom of this or enter your details on our win page.
This will be drawn August 30th and sent out to NZ addresses only.




If you don’t want to deep-fry, no worries… Spread the cauli on a paper-lined tray and spray with olive oil; bake in a 190°C (375°F) oven for 30 minutes for crisp cauli that’s lower in fat and delicious. (Arguably, not QUITE as delicious, but it’s your call.) You’ll need a tortilla press here.

Makes 12 tacos

270 g (9½ oz) masa harina
800 g (1 lb 12 oz/about 1 small) cauliflower, trimmed
2 eggs, beaten well
150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
1½ teaspoons chilli powder
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying


2 ripe avocados
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste

½ small red cabbage, trimmed, cored and finely shredded
1 carrot, very finely shredded
Handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped
170 ml (5½ fl oz/2⁄3 cup) whole-egg mayonnaise

For the tacos, combine the masa harina with 300 ml (10½ fl oz) water in a bowl and using a fork, mix to combine until a soft, pliable dough forms. Add a little more masa harina if it is too soft, or more water if too firm. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and roll each into a ball. Open your tortilla press and cover the base with baking paper. Place a ball in the centre and cover with another sheet of baking paper. Firmly close the tortilla press then open, turn the taco in the paper 180 degrees and gently press again to make an even thickness. Peel off the top layer of paper, turn the taco over and carefully peel away the other layer of paper. Place on a baking paper-lined tray and repeat with the remaining dough.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook the tacos, in batches, for 1 minute on each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with a damp tea towel to keep them soft and pliable.

 For the guacamole, combine all the ingredients in a food processor, season well with salt and pepper and process until smooth, adding a little extra lime juice if necessary.

For the red cabbage slaw, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the vegetables are coated with mayonnaise. Add more mayonnaise to taste and season well.

Preheat the ovento 120°C (235°F).
Cut the cauliflower into 1 cm (½ inch) pieces. Whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl. Mix together the flour, spices, oregano, salt and pepper in another bowl.
Heat about 6 cm (2½ inches) of oil, or enough to deep-fry, in a large saucepan to 160°C (315°F) or until a cube of bread turns golden in 60 seconds. Working in batches, toss the cauliflower in the egg mixture to coat well, allowing excess to drain off. Toss to coat in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour. Deep-fry the cauliflower, in batches, for 7–8 minutes or until tender, crisp and golden. Keep warm in the oven on a plate lined with paper towel while you cook the remaining cauliflower.
To serve, fill each taco with some coleslaw, guacamole and fried cauliflower.

Check out more from Leanne and the team at Red Pork Press, well known for food travel publishing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

45 thoughts on “Cauliflower is King – Review

  1. I just picked 3 lovely cauliflowers from my garden, would love a copy of the Cauliflower is King recipe book to add an exciting twist to my cooking.

  2. Great suggestions on using cauliflower, I am always falling back on old (boring) recipes and just reading through the one above makes me think of dinner tonight with the cauli in the fridge!
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. As my hubbie has Parkinson’s, cauliflower is as you say good for the brain cells, so we eat cauliflower as much as possible. I don’t like drowning it in cheese sauce and have it plain with herbs sprinkled over it with a balsamic sauce. Would luv to win this book as it would give me more recipes for cauliflower so it does not become boring for my hubbie.

  4. I too think the cauliflower is a versatile vegetable. I would like to try making the Cauli Tacos. A very good vegetarian mexican option.

  5. Excellent. Love Cauliflower last week whole one. Cooked with a pack of 3 minute Pasta with two flavors. Yummy. I have in mind to cook in whole saw in TV and to this site. Thank you for more information about Cauliflower. Buy more, it’s season. Yummy and good for brain. Cheers

  6. What an amazing book. Ya get so stuck in the norm of boiled cauli. I adventured out and put lemon pepper on cold cooked cauli a few years back, people thought that was weird. I look forward to possibly winning this book and teasing peoples conception of cauli some more.

  7. Hi Helen
    I’ld like to try new recipes with cauliflower, it’s a vegetable our whole family enjoy at this time of year. Please enter my name in the draw for Leanne’s book. Thanks Heather.

  8. Thank you Helen for the opportunity to win a copy of Leanne Kitchen’s Cauliflower is King book. I seriously had no idea how creative a cook can be with this versatile and adaptive vegetable! Just love to get my hands on a copy and start my creative culinary cooking journey with cauli

  9. I would love a copy please as I don’t eat meat and love to learn different way to use NZ abundant vegetables

  10. My husband is a cauliflower addict! He’s always at me to make Cauliflower Pie or cauliflower with white sauce. This is what he’s been stuck on for 40 years!! I need some Cauliflower inspiration to show him how versatile cauliflower can be so this book could be just what he needs.

  11. My husband particular dislikes cauliflower so this book would be just the thing to experiment with different recipes using it to try to adjust his thinking!

  12. Id love to win a copy of Cauliflower is king. It would really be and inspiration to me on my low carb journey

  13. Cauliflower is so under rated, and there are many options for this very versitile vegetables.
    You are right we all complain when prices go up, but really it’s such a cooking staple. . Love cauliflower flower even when I don’t love the prices!
    Lok forward to reading and trying recipes out of this book.

  14. I wonder if this book has a recipe for cauliflower chocolate mousse in it? I have made that three times now and you simply cannot believe it is a vegetable-based dessert.
    I would love to win this book and become way more familiar with the vege that looks more like a brain than anything else I can think of!

  15. On reading that there is a cauliflower book available I cheered. Would so like some new ideas away from our usual Cauliflower Cheese although I must admit there is no cheese sauce on ours! Can send you the recipe if you’d like it.

  16. I would love to win this book – cauliflower is my new hero. I’ve made a tasty Nasi Goreng with cauliflower rice and also a delicious pea and cauliflower curry this winter but would love some more inspiration. Haven’t made a cauli pizza or tacos yet

  17. My favourite vege, so versatile, yummy n good for you would love the opportunity to experiment and share new and innovative recipes to be found in this exciting book

  18. I have been using cauliflower in place of rice with curries etc for a while now – the family are happy and it is so much healthier. Lately I have also been mashing it with potatoes – lovely texture. I would love to win this book as I realise that this is one vegetable that has been flying below the radar – time for it to shine!

  19. This would be an awesome recipe book to have in my kitchen. I have been buying a lot of cauli lately as I an aware of how good it is for us and try and use it in as many ways as possible. Such a versatile vegetable.

  20. When cauliflower is a good price, I buy several. i use my food processor to turn them into rice, put 3-4 cups in containers and freeze. It is always a great addition to dinner and so easy to sauté, add whatever flavours or make into other things, like a pizza base.
    I would love to get more creative ideas from this cook book.

  21. My Nana used to roast caulilflower in the early 70’s. They had a farm so there always seemed to be lots of cauli’s, and swede’s. Love Cauliflower but still not to keen on swede’s

  22. Cauliflower, is my favorite recipe I already make Cauli couscous, cauli pizza bases, cauli rice, cauli cheese toasted sandwiches
    made cauli bread this week, have a special crumbed cauli floret recipe everyone loves.
    I have about 15 cauli recipes, would love some more

  23. Cauliflower is underrated and often regarded as boring. It would be great to get inspiration about lifting cauliflower to a higher level.

  24. We grow our own vegetables, and when we plant a punnet of cauliflowers they all come ready at once, so having a variety of ways to use them makes every meal different. It’s such a majestic vegetable – it enhances every meal!

  25. I too have tried to dress up the cauliflower as I have a grand daughter who is vegan & others in the family who are vegetarian so last night I cooked cauliflower until soft & to that after draining, I added a little sautéed onion & garlic a half can of drained & rinsed chick peas & mashed them altogether , they were delicious, I might try again & somehow make them into patties & fry lightly. Just have to think how to bind them together without egg or flour. Just another challenge in a busy day. LOL I would love the book to do something different again for my family. Thanks Helen
    Lyn V

  26. I LOVEEE CAULIFLOWER! It’s pretty much the most versatile vegetable ever :) This would book would be such a great read!

  27. This has inspired me to use the Cauliflower in my fridge in the Okonomiyaki I intend for our Friday night supper, it will be nicer than cabbage! I think I might lightly roast or saute it first. Hmmmmmm!

  28. I love the good old cauli.. and would love to be more creative, especially as I am veggie and now have a household that are trying a keto diet, so I am having to get very creative with veggies!

  29. This is exciting. I can still remember eating a wonderful fish and citrus salad at Leanne’s Auckland restaurant many years ago: it opened up a whole new concept of salads for me. Her previous books have been great.