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Curried Cauliflower Purée & Quick-Pickled Cauliflower

Related Ingredients

Tasting Notes

Here, creamy and spicy curried cauliflower purée meets acidic and slightly sweet pickled cauliflower – two preparations for a perfectly balanced vegetable dish.

The milk or cream in the cauliflower purée adds richness and keeps the intense spice of the curry from overpowering the dish. Bright, crunchy pickled cauliflower makes an attractive garnish and also cuts through the creaminess of the purée. Michael adds subtle but complex sweetness to the pickling liquid by using white balsamic vinegar, a little sugar and some raisin-sweetened Riesling.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Go slow. Milk or cream has a tendency to boil rapidly and overflow if you are not keeping an eye on it, so once you add the milk to the cauliflower, watch it closely and keep it over low heat.
  2. Perfect purée. The cauliflower for the purée can be cooked until it is soft and almost mushy. This will make it much easier to purée.
  3. Pickle me this. By pouring hot liquid over the cauliflower slices (rather than cooking the cauliflower in the pickling liquid), we’re preparing a quick pickle.


These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Rubber spatula. While you’re sweating the cauliflower, use a rubber spatula to move it around the pan. Use the spatula again to remove the purée from the blender, and then again to stir as you reheat the purée. Between uses, set the spatula in a bowl of water to keep it from getting crusty.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Small bowl

Rubber spatula
Small pot
Plastic wrap
Medium sauté pan with lid
Wooden spoon


1 head cauliflower


For the Pickled Cauliflower:

  • Cauliflower slices from 4 larger florets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons caper juice
  • 2 tablespoons juice from the soaked raisins (link to day 2 garnishes)
  • ¼ cup white balsamic
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed


For the Cauliflower Purée:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoon madras curry powder
  • Scraps from 1 head of cauliflower, about 4 cups
  • 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup milk, whole or heavy cream

Serves: 4

Total Time: 35 minutes plus pickling time

Active Time: 35 minutes

  1. Cut off the ends of the cauliflower stems. Cut out the core using a paring knife. Separate the head into florets.
  2. Take 4 of the larger florets, slice them into thin slices on a mandolin and reserve them for pickling.
  3. Save all of the scraps and remaining florets for the purée.

For the Pickled Cauliflower:

  1. Place sliced cauliflower in a small bowl.
  2. Place the remaining ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour over cauliflower slices and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in soaking liquid at least one hour. This can be done a few hours ahead, or the day before.

For the Cauliflower Purée:

  1. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt butter. When the mixture begins to foam up, add curry powder and stir together and then all the remaining cauliflower. Toss to coat and sweat for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the salt and milk (or cream), lower the heat and cover with a lid. Lightly simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes, making sure that the milk or cream doesn’t boil over or burn. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a blender and blend for 3 minutes, or until the purée is completely smooth.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Grilled cauliflower puree with steamed lobster & grilled peaches

Your plate with burst with color when you pair this curry cauliflower puree with steamed  lobster and grilled peaches.