Cauliflower salad with onion jam, chestnuts and Jerusalem artichokes

This vegetarian and dairy-free cauliflower recipe is absolutely packed with flavour. Three different types of cauliflower are quick-pickled or blanched, sitting on a bed of Jerusalem artichoke purée with sweet Tropea onion jam alongside. Topped with crispy chestnuts and shaved white truffle (which is optional but definitely worth it if you're able to find some), it's a light yet decadent dish.

First published in 2019




pickle liquor

jerusalem artichoke puree

onion jam


Add all the ingredients for the pickle liquor (except the red wine vinegar) to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the white cauliflower florets and cook for 2 minutes, then lift out of the liquor with a slotted spoon and leave to cool and drain on kitchen towel
Bring the liquor back to the boil and add the red wine vinegar. Add the purple cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes, then drain and leave to cool on kitchen towel
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the romanesco cauliflower for 2 minutes, then refresh in iced water. Drain and set aside to cool
Preheat an oven to 200°C. Make a small incision in the skin of each chestnut, then roast for 10–15 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then peel and roughly crush
Bring a deep pan of oil or a deep-fat fryer to 180°C. Deep-fry the chestnuts for a few minutes until golden brown and crispy, then set aside to drain on kitchen paper
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
For the onion jam, place a saucepan over a low heat and add the olive oil. Sauté the Tropea onions with a pinch of fine salt until soft and translucent. Add the sugar and honey, allow to lightly caramelise, then add the vinegar and cook until evaporated. Remove from the heat and transfer the contents of a pan to a blender. Add the beetroot and blitz until very smooth. Transfer to a squeezy bottle until ready to plate
Peel the Jerusalem artichokes, then place them in a saucepan and cover with the almond milk. Simmer over a medium heat until the artichokes are very tender, then drain (reserving the milk), transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth with the honey, adding the milk if needed. Season with salt and pepper
To serve, reheat the cauliflowers in the oven for a few minutes, along with the Jerusalem artichoke puree (if needed). Place the artichoke puree in the middle of each bowl and toss the cauliflowers in plenty of olive oil (reserving some for drizzling), salt and pepper. Arrange the cauliflowers over the top and pipe dots of the onion jam around them. Finish with the crispy chestnuts and white truffle (if using), along with the rest of the olive oil
  • 10g of white truffle, shaved (optional)
  • 200ml of extra virgin olive oil

Francesco Mazzei reminds us why we fell in love with Italian food in the first place, conjuring soulful dishes that put flavour first.

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