whole food

the first cauliflower

Cauliflower & Toasted Mustard Seed Soup with Macadamia Parmesan

The first cauliflower of the season arrived in our garden over the weekend. It was a little on the small side but was bound to continue shrinking if it was left to the fat green grub that was sharing it with us. Fair’s fair, he’d eaten the equivalent of a small acreage so it was our turn to make soup. Actually there were a hundred other things I imagined making with the cauliflower but the day seemed to finish before it began and soup was the only thought left. I don’t want to say it as though soup is in some way a secondary option but it’s not exactly rocket science. Either way, I love it, and as simple as it is, I’m always keen to find new ideas for blending things into a puree to dip sourdough into, so hoping the soup thing can still be helpful to other ‘meal in a bowl’ lovers. I’ve been adding macadamia parmesan to everything lately so it went on top with some rocket flowers and surprisingly the spice of the toasted mustard seeds didn’t seem out of context with the pseudo Italian theme the ‘cheese’ and rocket started. Fifteen minutes to a warm belly worked too. It has been crazy cold out here on our hill. Yep, soup and more soup. And then some watching of hungry caterpillars while you eat it. Dinner and a show. How low can lo-fi go you ask?

 

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Cauliflower & Toasted Mustard Seed Soup with Macadamia Parmesan

makes a big saucepan full

 

1 head of organic homegrown cauliflower, or similar

3 organic homegrown potatoes

1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

1 litre organic veggie stock

2Tbsp organic coconut butter, or extra virgin olive oil

 

1/2 cup organic, raw macadamia nuts

1 Tbsp organic savoury yeast flakes

1 tsp sea salt flakes

 

fresh organic rocket flowers, if available

 

 

Roughly chop the cauliflower and potatoes and panfry for 4-5 minutes in the coconut butter until nicely browned around the edges.

Add the vegetable stock to cover and leave to simmer until the cauliflower and potato are cooked through. 

 

Toast the mustard seeds in a dry pan until they start to pop. Remove from heat and grind with a mortar and pestle into a powder. Add to the soup.

Puree the soup with a hand blender until smooth and creamy. Check seasoning and salt to taste.

 

To make the macadamia parmesan, simply blitz the nuts, yeast flakes and salt in a food processor until they pull together and resemble crumbs.

Serve the hot soup with a sprinkling of parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and some rocket flowers if you have them.

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flowers for mum

Coconut Custard Tart

It’s not exactly like our family to get overly romantic about Mother’s Day but a little bit of sentiment sat at the table with us for afternoon tea today. My Mum always talks about how when she was a kid, her and her sisters would often be sent on ‘hunting and gathering’ missions for nasturtiums so my Nana could make them nasturtium sandwiches for lunch. I love it when she tells this story because the idea of wildcrafting edible flowers for lunch ticks lots of boxes on my favourite-things-to-do list. Plus, nasturtiums are delicious.

 

We’ve had a little nasturtium goodness going on across the Scullery trestle table at the Farmer’s Market of late, and while it’s so easy to throw a handful of sunshine colour and peppery fragrance into any salad, or across a carpaccio, or float in soup like a couple of lily pads, I really wanted to eat nasturtium sandwiches today. With my Mum.

 

And once I’d invited sentimentality to the table, custard tarts asked for a part to play too. Remember those? All eggy, milky goodness freckled with nutmeg. I used to love those. So actually maybe this was more my tastebuds’ memory than my Mum’s. Ooops. Anyway, my Mum doesn’t go in for anything milk based these days so I set out to reinvent the custard tart without milk. There we go, back to her.

 

After I took the milk out of the custard tart, I thought coconut would be a nice swap, and then I didn’t need eggs to set it, and actually it didn’t need to be baked, and then if I just used the gluten free flour mix we’ve been doing for the Farmer’s Market, and some of that yummy mesquite powder I have in the cupboard and that cute little baking pan I found in the 2nd hand shop this week… You know how it goes.

 

So here’s a take on my Mum’s childhood, mixed in a bit with mine – but without the milk. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums. That’s really what afternoon tea says.

 

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Coconut Custard Tart

makes one 20cm tart

 

1 1/4 cups organic GF whole flour mix

1/4 cup organic mesquite powder

1/2 cup organic coconut butter, melted

pinch sea salt flakes

3 1/2 tbsp organic coconut water (saved from the fresh coconut)

 

2 organic young coconuts (drinking coconuts)

1/4 cup organic macadamia nuts

1 1/2 tsp raw organic honey

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp organic vanilla bean paste

juice of 1 organic meyer lemon

2 tsp organic mesquite powder

freshly grated nutmeg 

 

Pre heat the oven to 180C.

Mix the GF flour, mesquite and salt together in a bowl and then stir in the melted coconut oil and coconut water. 

Press the dough into your prepared tart tin using your fingers. Make sure to push the dough up the sides of the tin too. Prick the base of the dough with a fork and then bake for 12-15 minutes. No need to weight or pre chill the dough.

When the tart base is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

 

To make the coconut filling, blitz the macadamias in a food processor until fine. Scoop the soft flesh out of the coconuts and add to the food processor with all of the remaining ingredients, except for the nutmeg. Blitz until smooth.

 

Spoon the coconut mixture into the cooled tart base and dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. We had ours with extra honey to pour over the top. 

 

To make the nasturtium sandwiches, simply pile some fresh leaves and flowers between thinly sliced sourdough, season with salt flakes and freshly ground pepper and serve with copious amounts of tea.

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