Sometimes you grow a vegetable that is a perfect specimen and you feel a lovely warm inner glow.
Then life gets in the way, you leave it to harvest until just before you want to eat it and when you finally go back it has gone over, the moment of peak perfection has passed. The cauliflowers had started to flower or sprout – not sure what the technical term is.
So what do you do? Well with cauliflower I either smother it in cheese sauce – after all the cauliflower still tastes good – or sometimes I make aloo gobi.
But this time I decided to make a cauliflower puree to have with a little non-smallholding treat – scallops. I love scallops but we rarely eat them as we have to buy them – shock horror!
I have served scallops on a mound of pureed cannellini beans – or on broad bean puree (see here) before, but I wanted to try something different and we had cauliflowers to eat! I found the prosciutto in the freezer – I made it a few years ago now from a leg of one of the original Large Black pigs that we kept. This reminds me, I haven’t cured any meat for ages – need to get back into the swing of making my own bacon and stop being lazy and sneaking some of the bacon the butcher makes for us from our pigs for sale. You could use streaky bacon instead of prosciutto or leave it out altogether.
This makes more cauliflower puree than two people can eat so I just loosened it with more of the cooking milk and made it into soup.
Seared scallops on cauliflower puree with prosciutto: one cauliflower, some sustainably sourced scallops, breadcrumbs, butter, prosciutto, seasoning, milk.
Cut the cauliflower into florets, cover with milk and cook until soft. Puree with a little of the milk and season. Fry the prosciutto until crispy. remove from the pan and fry the breadcrumbs until crispy too. Lastly, heat the butter in a frying pan and sear the scallops. Place a mound of cauliflower puree in the middle of the plate, pile scallops and prosciutto onto it and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.