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Cauliflower with Saffron, Pinenuts and Raisins


The white cauliflower shows off the saffron’s colour beautifully and turns this parochial vegetable into a glamourous one.
Serves 4

Cauliflower, broken into small florets (keep the smallest leaves)
A large spanish onion, thinly sliced
3 tbls olive oil
50 strands of saffron, infused in 4tbls boiling water
3 tbls pinenuts, lightly toasted
75g raisons, soaked in warm water
Sea salt/black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the cauliflower, put the lid on and bring to the boil again. Blanch the cauliflower for a minute, drain in a colander and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan until hot but not smoking then add the onion with a pinch of salt. Stir well, reduce the heat to low and cook very slowly for about 15-20 minutes until golden in colour and sweet in smell. Be sure to stir the onions every 5 mins so they cook evenly and do not stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, drain onions and keep oil.

Set the same saucepan over a high heat and add the olive oil back into the pan. When hot, add the cauliflower and leaves. Fry until the cauliflower begins to colour, then add the onion, the saffron infused water, the pinenuts and drained raisons. Give everything a good toss and cook for 5 mins until the saffron water has more or less evaporated. Season with salt/pepper.

Serve with tahini sauce (see sauces)


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