Thursday, 3 June 2021

Greek-Inspired Cauliflower Stew

Cauliflower you say, for a main meal dish? Yes, this Cauliflower vegetarian dish really earns it's stripes on flavour. It can also reflect the seasons, which is one of the things I love about vegetarian food. This dish is a riff on Jamie Oliver's Cauliflower stew. Because it is all vegetables, depending on what is in season, add quick cooking greens such as spinach, asparagus, and tender broccoli when you add the peas or broad beans. The garnish can also change each time you make it, pomegranate? Why not. The only limit to your imagination is the availability of produce. I had hoped to present you with this recipe for a Meat free Monday meal this week. We ate it on Monday, however things got busy here and I didn't reach ,my self imposed deadline, so here we are, enjoying the simple life, and not worried too much about deadlines, but appointments do need to be made on time and we've had a few of those. I'll try and do better next week though. 

It was beautiful weather here on the weekend, quite balmy, so we took Locky for a walk in the afternoon on the beach, where the dogs are allowed to run leash free. A walk on the beach is such a wonderful pick me up and we are so lucky to be able to do it here whenever we wish. Bucasia beach only 10 minutes from our home by car is a beautiful and interesting beach, and when the tide is out, which it was, there is plenty of sand to explore, channels of little creeks to wade though which Locky loves, and lots of room for everyone.  I'm so glad we took the opportunity to do that as the weather turned very wintry here the following day, overcast and showery, and down to a minimum of 12 degrees. That is how this cauliflower stew evolved, on a cold wintry day. However, it would still be very palatable in Summer.

Look at me, I'm so humble, so perfect, and so versatile

I really enjoy watching Jamie Oliver present his cooking shows on television, so entertaining, and I admire what he has achieved in the cooking world. However sometimes he forgets to emphasize some of the finer details, and also in his VEG cooking book, such as with this recipe, check that your cooking pot which goes from stove top to oven,  will also fit the cauliflower you have chosen,  and also all of the extra vegetables in this recipe. A large pot is needed, or a small 800 g or less cauliflower. You can make that choice. However you could commit a food sin, and just cut your cauliflower in half if it is too big so that it fits, the end result will be the same. I'm sure that Jamie won't be reading my blog, so no harm done. He also suggested using a speed-peeler to strip the lemon zest into the casserole pan. I just used my normal vegetable peeler, is that what he means, or do you have a speed peeler? I'd love to know.

Let's Cook:


Serves 4, 1 hour 25 minutes

1 head of cauliflower, ideally with leaves, about 800 g

200 g fresh or frozen peas or broad beans

10 large ripe plum tomatoes or equivalent

1 lemon

olive oil

1 whole bulb of garlic

10 black olives (with stones in)

300 g new potatoes

 2 red onions

500 ml water

Chopped Parsley for garnish

Serves 4 / Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes


Preheat your oven to 200 deg. C, or 400 deg. F. or gas 6.

Place a large casserole pan on a medium heat on your stove top.  Peel the lemon rind into strips into the casserole pan,  then add 2 tablespoons of oil and the garlic bulb. Peel and quarter the onions, separate into petals, press down on the olives with a large spoon and remove the seeds, and slice the potatoes to 1 cm thick. Add onions, olives and potatoes to the pan.

Pluck in the oregano leaves, and cook the vegetables for 5 minutes. When the mixture is just starting to soften and colour up, quarter and add the tomatoes, then season to your taste with sea salt and black pepper.

Pour 500 ml of water into the pan and bring to the boil, keep stirring well and scrape the sticky bits off the bottom of the pot as you go. That's where a lot of the flavour lives.

Wash your lovely cauliflower and dry it. Remove any of the really tatty outside leaves, then cut across the stalk and push the cauliflower, stalk side down, to the bottom  of the pan. 

Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil, cove with a tight fitting lid, then place the pot in the oven for 1 hour, or until golden and caramelized, basting occasionally and removing the lid halfway through the cooking time.

Remove the cauliflower onto a large serving platter.

Pick out the garlic bulb sections with tongs, then place the pot back over a a medium heat on the stove top. 

Stir in the peas or broad beans, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Very carefully, squeeze out all of the garlic out of the skins and stir back into the pan. 

Check the seasoning and add more if needed. Pour the contents of the pot over the cauliflower and finish the dish with a good squeeze of lemon juice to really bring the dish to life.

Serve this dish with brown rice, lentils, or bread to mop up the juices.

Here's Locky below, wishin' and hopin', please let there be something in that pot she's cooking, for me. He probably would have eaten it, but he ate some leftover mashed pumpkin instead, with his dog food. He seems to love it.

I cooked this stew just for Mr. HRK and myself and well there was enough for another two days of eating it as a side dish. However for some variation on the first night I topped it with grilled cheese and placed it under the grill, delicious, and still vegetarian.

Then the third night, I added some chopped cooked bacon, not so vegetarian, but really tasty, and more grated parmesan cheese, placed it under the grill and oh my, what a taste sensation that was. I am lucky that Mr. HRK doesn't mind eating the same dish three nights running, with variations. I thought it might be a bit much, but my man insisted, so bacon and cheese Cauliflower stew it was. My dietician friend would have been so proud of me.

After eating so many vegetables this week, I went shopping this morning for some stewing steak, chuck or gravy beef, didn't matter. What I found was ridiculous. Chuck steak at the supermarket is $18.00 a kilo, the butcher next door was charging $19.99 a kilo, and there was no reduction for buying a large piece. Does anyone know why meat is so expensive now, is it all being exported, or is this the consequence of our drought? Anyway I bought a kilo to support the farmers. A beef stew used to be a budget meal in our house in the 1960s. Now eating meat is an extravagance and the butcher predicts the price is going to rise further. It's another good reason to balance out our food budget with a few vegetarian meals each week, and save the planet as well.

As I write this, Mr. HRK, is working on a new desk and sewing table for me. As a result of our recent retiling and renovations, our living area and dining area has been reorganised and the large sideboard which we removed is now being recycled. It is made of lovely silky oak timber from the North Queensland rainforests we think, which is where his sister bought the sideboard when she lived in Cairns, but apparently it wasn't very well constructed at all according to my craftsman in the garage, so he has pulled it to bits and it is being rebuilt. He sanded the wood back to the original silky oak timber and the wood is beautiful. So no doubt it will be my new office desk with a difference and it remains to be seem if it will double as a sewing table as well. When it's all finished, I'll show you some before and after photos. Have a wonderful weekend.

Take care everyone,



  1. Looks so good with cheese :-) Locky is such a handsome boy.

    1. Thanks for your comment Angie, cheese makes most things taste good doesn't it, but still this is delicious without. Yes Locky has the looks:)

  2. Great for meatless Monday. Your dog is adorable.

    1. I try to keep meatless Monday on my horizon, and this dish is perfect, quite filling really. Locky has an adorable nature as well. Thanks so much N C r.

  3. Cauliflower stew looks so good.
    I don’t know what a speed peeler is. I’m going to ask Mr. Google. 😊

    1. Thanks Nil, I was a bit under the pump so I didn't check Mr. Google before I wrote this, and oh dear still haven't. on my list.

  4. silky oak is such a beautiful timber. a speed peeler? what on earth could that be? i saw a fab recipe the other day for a whole roasted cauli, and i thought nuh I'm going to chop it up into florets before roasting. life's too short ... :-)

    1. Sherry I've seen those whole roasted cauliflower recipes as well, nice for a dinner party thing I suppose. I roast the florets all the time, so delicious. Thanks so much.

  5. I must say that i'm very intrigued by your recipe, this cauliflower looks delightful and I'm quite voracious when it come to Green and Green inspired recipes :)

    1. Thanks so much for your interest in my recipe. The Greek flavours really come through in this, with the delicious olives and the lemon. It really is a winner and quite versatile.

  6. This looks hearty and delicious. I've never actually cooked the lemon rind in a recipe before. Sounds interesting.

    1. Thanks Judee for your comment, the lemon, the olives and the herbs give it beautiful Greek inspired flavours, however you could take out the lemon rind before serving.

  7. If there is such a thing as a speed peeler, where has it been all my life? What a cute pup, by the way. Oh, and you had me at "whole head of garlic." The other ingredients sound just as tempting.

    1. Oh yes Jeff, the whole head of garlic is a must, and the olives, and lemon zest. This is a flavoursome recipe. Thanks so much for your great comment.

  8. i like your new banner and colours! btw when you change your email subs, which service are you planning to use? I'm thinking what do you reckon?

  9. Oh thanks Sherry for the comment about the banner, a very quick fix to correct that other problem and I still need to add some little motif when I'm feeling creative. It's a big deal to create one like I had before.I think is the way to go as well. I'm going to psyche myself up to do it this weekend, so fingers crossed. The main thing is not to remove the current email list as that can cause problems apparently. I trust your hubby will do yours. Please let me know if any tips come out of that, I think we are all a bit nervous about it:) Thanks for the chat:)

  10. Gosh, what a delightfully tasty dish! Cauliflower is a favorite of mine, and this looks like a wonderful way to serve it. This would definitely be a main at our house. Thanks!

    1. Thanks KR, it makes a good main dish and can be jazzed up very easily as well and I know you are good at that:)
      Take care.

  11. Pauline, that sounds delicious. I will pick up a cauliflower at the market on Saturday and give it a try.

    1. Thanks Chel, and you don't need a large cauliflower for this dish. By the way, have you thought about what you are going to use for the new email system on Blogger, I am thinking I'm not looking forward to changing it over but will have to do it in a couple of weeks? Hope you are well.


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