slow roasted cauliflower and aubergine with miso and furikake

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I’ve engaged in something of a Julie & Julia-esque endeavour in that I am trying my best to attempt at least one recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi cookbook once a week. It’s always best to peruse the recipes on a Monday, as undoubtedly I will be met with a caveat of needing to start preparing everything three days in advance, as was the case with the twice cooked chicken I served this cauliflower dish alongside.

As I’ve grown more adventurous with cooking over the last year, my enthusiasm for cooking for other people hasn’t waned in the slightest. When I go out to eat, I’m primarily seeking inspiration via a life-changingly delicious dish that I can then go on to reproduce in my own Mum’s kitchen. This was exactly what happened on a recent trip to Australia, in which my last meal at Supernormal left me in awe. To claim that this cauliflower dish was the most incredible thing I ate during my five day stint in the culinary mecca that is Melbourne sounds nothing short of preposterous until you try it yourself.

Now, this was my third and final attempt in creating this dish, and I’m happy to say it held its own against the genius of Ottolenghi and his twice cooked chicken with chilli sauce and Asian greens. It may seem like overkill to slowly roast the cauliflower for so long, but what you’re after is charred florets and tender, fall apart stems. If you can’t source furikake (a dry Japanese seasoning consisting of sesame seeds, seaweed, sugar, salt and ground fish), use sesame seeds instead. I get mine from Moore Wilson’s in Wellington, but you can find it in packets in most Asian specialty stores. Eating “family style” – all dinner guests grabbing for the best bits and serving themselves in a sharing format is forever my favourite way to eat, and this dish is perfect for such occasions.

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slow roasted cauliflower and aubergine with miso and furikake

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, halved
  • 1 aubergine, halved lengthways
  • 100g butter
  • 3 tbsp miso
  • 1 tbsp furikake for sprinkling
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 150C/300F bake setting (or roasted function setting if you’re lucky enough to have a Gaggenau to play with!).
  2. Score the flesh of the aubergine in a criss cross pattern. Place the cauliflower chopped side down and the aubergine flesh side up in a roasting dish. Bake for 80-90 minutes, until the cauliflower florets are charred and near burnt and the stems are tender.
  3. Before the 80-90 minutes are up, melt the butter and miso either in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to combine.
  4. Remove the aubergine/cauliflower from the oven, turn the oven to grill at 220C/430F and slather the vegetables with the buttery miso mixture. Return to the oven to grill for a few minutes.
  5. Transfer to a plate for serving, spoon any of the melted butter in the bottom of the pan on top of the vegetables, sprinkle with furikake and coriander and eat immediately.
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