Hearty Winter Vegetable Stew

Serves 4-6Ingredients 2 Tbs. olive oil 4 shitake mushrooms, cut into quarters 4 small onions, quartered 3 celery stems, roughly chopped into 1cm pieces 4 carrots chopped into 2cm pieces 300 gms potatoes, well scrubbed and cut in to chunks 2 turnips peeled and cut into chunks 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped into chunks 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets 2 cloves garlic, crushed Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 ½ cups rich vegetable stock ½ cup dry red or white wine 1 Tbs. tamari soy sauce a bunch of parsley and thyme, 1 sage leaf, and a 25 cm stem of rosemary…(dry herbs may be substituted)

Method 1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. 2.  Cook onions for three minutes.  Add celery, shitakes and carrots for another two minutes. 3. Add all remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low. Cover pot, and cook, stirring contents occasionally, until all vegetables are tender, 1 hour. 4.  To thicken the sauce, right before vegetables are done, take a large frypan and melt 2 tbsps butter. 5.  Add about ¼ cup of red wine and 2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped.  Reduce by half. 6. Add approx 3 tbsps of flour. Gently whisk the flour allowing it to brown slightly. 7.  With a ladle, slowly spoon some of the stock into the fry pan, whisking all the time.  Continue adding stock until you have the desired consistency.  Add this back into your stew. 8.  Season with fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Serve as is or top with mashed potatoes to make a delicious vegetable shepherds pie.


Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

I am afraid that I do not know which cookbook this recipe is from.  But I am happy to say that my photocopy is speckled with splatters attesting to how often it is used.  This is a slow cooker meal but it can also be made on the stove top. Ingredients 1 large cauliflower cut into 1 inch florets 1 large potato, peeled and diced (about 2 cups) 1 medium yellow or red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 medium tomato, diced (optional) 1 (2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped, minced, or grated 3-4 green chilies, chopped or sliced lengthwise 1 tbsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp red chili powder 1 tbsp garam masala 1 tbsp salt 1 tsp turmeric powder 3 tbsp butter 1 heaping tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Method 1. Put all of the ingredients except the cilantro in the slow cooker.  Mix well. 2. Cook on low for 3 hours.  Mix once or twice during cooking, especially in the beginning.  Eventually the cauliflower will release enough liquid to prevent anything from sticking to the sides of the slow cooker. 3. Add coriander.  Mix well but gently so as not to break up the cauliflower.

Roast Cauliflower with Vadouvan

Here is a roasted cauliflower recipe that was in The Age. Serve as a side dish to roast chicken, or with hummus and tabouli as a meal.

Ingredients 1 head cauliflower, outer green leaves removed, broken into florets sea salt and pepper 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp  butter 2 teaspoons vadouvan spice mix 2 tbsp parsley leaves

Method 1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. 2. Toss cauliflower florets in olive oil. 3. Scatter over a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and tender. 4. Season well. 5. To serve, melt the butter in a non-stick fry pan, add the vadouvan and stir through. 6. Add the cauliflower and toss for a minute or two until well coated over low heat (don't let it catch and burn). 7. Scatter with parsley leaves and serve.

NOTE: Vandouvan is a spice mix available through Herbie's Spice.  Locally you can find Herbie's Spice at the IGA in Blairgowrie and at La Casa Nuestra in Rosebud.  You can also try Herbie's website to find other locations herbies.com.au


Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Coriander and Almonds

Here is a Jamie Oliver recipe...simple to make and delicious to eat! When most people think of ways to cook cauliflower they will come up with either boiling or gratinating - I'm sure this is the same for you. It may seem strange, but cauliflower is absolutely fantastic when lightly roasted, especially with herbs, spices, cheeses or breadcrumbs. It develops a really incredible flavour that I'm well impressed by. Here's a recipe I made up that is Indian-ish in style. But, hey, it's not about points for authenticity - it's about whether it's delicious or not and I think it is! Please try this one.

Ingredients 1 head cauliflower, outer green leaves removed, broken into florets sea salt olive oil 1 knob butter 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 2 teaspoons coriander seed 1-2 dried red chillies 1 handful blanched almonds, smashed zest and juice of 1 lemon

Method 1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. 2. Blanch the cauliflower in salted boiling water for a couple of minutes then drain in a colander, allowing it to steam dry (you don't want any water left in your cauliflower or it won't roast properly). 3. Toss it in a good lug of olive oil and the butter. 4. In a pestle and mortar, bash your spices and chillies with a pinch of salt, then mix them with your almonds and put in a hot, dry ovenproof pan to slowly toast them. 5. After a couple of minutes, add the cauliflower. 6. When it gets a nice bit of colour on it, add the lemon zest and juice and mix around well. 7. Fry for about a minute longer then pop the pan into the preheated oven for about 15 minutes to crisp up.