Cauliflower and mackerel with chef Lawrence Murphy
Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower belong to the brassica family and are all grown successfully in our country, making them easy to buy at their best.
Look for bright green firm heads and pure white unblemished cauliflowers.
If you turn a cauliflower over the cut stem should be pure white indicating how fresh the vegetable is. It goes darker with age.
Most brassicas are just boiled as a vegetable or occasionally coated with a thick, comforting cheese sauce.
The humble cauliflower can be transformed from just a vegetable into a silky smooth purée that goes perfectly with grilled fish. Add little roasted florets for further flavour and texture and a dressing made from sherry vinegar to transform the dish to another level.
I like to add sweet pickled golden raisins which help balance the sherry vinegar, but you could just add a little sugar to your dressing.
At the restaurant we sear scallops in a hot pan to serve in this dish, but it also works well with fresh mackerel that is grilled lightly for a few minutes.
I normally use this dish as a starter, but you could easily increase the ingredients to make a larger portion for a main course.
Cauliflower and mackerel
Ingredients (serves four)
1 small cauliflower cut into florets
100ml double cream
2 mackerel filleted and pin-boned
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch sea salt
1. Put half the cauliflower in a saucepan add the water, butter and salt.
2. Heat pan with a lid on for five minutes checking water does not completely evaporate.
3. Remove lid, add cream and cook for two minutes until cauliflower is soft. Liquidise. Keep warm.
4. While cauliflower purée is cooking blanch remaining cauliflower in boiling water for two minutes.
5. Drain, transfer to roasting dish. Sprinkle with salt and oil.
6.Put in hot oven for five minutes turning occasionally.
7. Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.
8. Lightly oil the fish and grill for four to five minutes.
9. Place purée in centre of four plates, arrange roasted cauliflower around and top with the grilled fish. Spoon over dressing and serve.
Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives at Emsworth (fatolives.co.uk) on 01243 377914.