Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is most commonly recognized as a bright white bulbous vegetable with purple or green highlights with light green leaves, but it is also available in green or purple varieties similar to its parent plant the cabbage.

Cauliflower is a variety of the common cabbage that has begun to flower but stop growing at the bud stage. In the 17th century these budding growths were observed as a freak occurrence in wild cabbage, but through selective breeding these plants evolved by the 18th century into what we know them as today.

Culinary historians are uncertain in knowing the regional origins of the cauliflower. It’s modern day name comes from the Latin “caulis” meaning stalk and “floris” for flower and is believed to have been introduced to Europe by Arabs after the fall of the Roman Empire however it was referred to as Cyprus cabbage in France and opens arguments that support it’s Cypriot origins which predates the Roman Empire.

We do know that cauliflower is a large flower-like growth that is comprised of numerous florets that grow on the ends of a maze of stalks nestled in a base of leaves. We often refer to the floret portion of cauliflower as the head as in a “head of cauliflower” but it is properly referred to as the curd.

North Americans typically discard the stems, core and leaves and eat only the florets in raw, steamed or boiled preparations. Although this may seem like a practical approach in preparing cauliflower it is wasteful as the entire plant other than its roots is edible. The stems and core have a slightly stronger taste compared to the flowers but they contain a significantly higher concentration of nutrients such as vitamin C and iron.

Cauliflower photo credit to http://no-baloney.com/

Cauliflower photo credit to http://no-baloney.com/

When shopping for cauliflowers look for tightly formed curds with small florets that are vibrant in color without spots or discoloration. The leaves should be crisp and green, and are a sure sign to tell how fresh the curd is as the leaves begin to wilt and yellow within a couple of days after they have been harvested. Store your cauliflower in the refrigerator tightly wrapped in plastic or in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

I suggest cooking the white variety with a bit of lemon juice or milk in a non-reactivate metal pot to prevent the cauliflower from discoloration during the cooking process. The green and purple varieties should be cooked without acid but be advised that the purple cauliflower will turn green when cooked. Once cooked store cauliflower in your refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Ontario grown cauliflower is available from June through November and reaches its peak of quality after a week or two of high temperatures and minimal rainfall.

Local farmers markets and grocery stores are over flowing with Ontario grown produce with plenty of cauliflower to be enjoyed by all. I encourage you to try eating the whole curd including the leaves and core in the following recipe which can be prepared on your barbecue.

 

Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:

1 whole cauliflower

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tbsp. minced garlic

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

4 tbsp.  Grated Asiago

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped chives, for garnish

 

Method:

Place the cauliflower in roasting pan. Gently rub the canola oil over the surface of the cauliflower, and season it with the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place the roasting pan in an oven or barbeque preheated to 400°F and roast for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even roasting. Once the cauliflower is roasted top it with the Asiago cheese, once the cheese begins to melt sprinkle the chives over the cauliflower which will stick to the melted cheese and serve immediately while still warm. Alternately one may choose to wrap the cauliflower in tin foil to allow you to bake the curd on the barbecue or over a fire.

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