Pan-Fried Cauliflower with Lovage Crumbs and Lemon
The assertive flavour of lovage certainly brings cauliflower to life. Cauliflower also benefits from the rich flavour of dairy products – in this case butter – and contrasting crisp textures. Don’t stint on the butter and use plenty of breadcrumbs for crunch, making sure both the cauliflower and crumbs are golden. You will need a frying pan large enough to take the cauliflower florets in a single layer.
Serves 4, sugar-free, vegetarian
cauliflower 1, trimmed of leaves and divided into florets
unsalted butter 60g
stale breadcrumbs 5–6 tbsp
lovage seeds (see Cook’s note below) 1 tsp
olive oil 1 tbsp
lemon zest finely grated from ½ lemon
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
a few chopped lovage leaves to garnish
1) Put the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Steam for 7–10 minutes until reasonably tender but not disintegrating. Remove from the steamer and set aside.
2) Melt half the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the breadcrumbs and lovage seeds, and fry until the crumbs are golden. Tip into a small bowl and keep warm.
3) Wipe the pan clean with paper towel. Add the oil and the remaining butter, and heat until slightly sizzling. Add the cauliflower florets and fry for 3–4 minutes, tossing gently, until flecked with gold.
4) Tip the contents of the pan into a warm serving dish. Add the lemon zest, sea salt flakes, a few grindings of black pepper and the crumb/lovage seed mixture. Pour over any buttery juices remaining in the pan, tossing carefully to mix. Garnish with a few chopped lovage leaves.
||If you don’t have lovage seeds, it’s fine to use celery seeds or ajwain seeds instead.
© Christine McFadden, March 2023