Yeasted cauliflower, raisins, capers and mint

Aromatic homemade raisins and crispy cauliflower slices are just a couple of the cheffy tricks Lee Westcott employs in his signature yeasted cauliflower recipe. You will need a dehydrator to tackle some of the elements in this spectacular dish.

First published in 2015
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Yeasted cauliflower purée

Pickled green grapes

Mint oil

  • 200ml of rapeseed oil
  • 400g of mint, leaves picked, plus extra for garnish
  • salt

Cauliflowers fondants and florets

Cauliflower slices



  • Deep fat fryer
  • Muslin cloth
  • Dehydrator
  • Thermomix
  • Meat slicer


Begin by preparing the pickled green grapes - these will be placed in the dehydrator and made into raisins later. Place the water, lemon juice, olive oil, Pernod, sugar, star anise, thyme and tarragon in a pan and bring to a simmer, melting the sugar and combining all of the ingredients. Add the picked white grapes, bring back to a simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool
Once cooled, leave to infuse for 1 hour. Then, drain the grapes (reserving the liquid for serving) and place in the dehydrator overnight. Remove the grapes once they are semi-dried and resemble raisins. Set aside until required
For the mint oil, blanch the mint leaves in salted boiling water for 1 minute. Refresh in iced water, squeeze as much liquid out of the mint as possible, then place into the dehydrator
  • 400g of mint, leaves picked, plus extra for garnish
  • salt
Once completely dry, add to a Thermomix and cover with the grapeseed oil. Bring up to 85°C, transfer to a muslin bag and hang over a jug to collect the liquid that drips through. Set aside until required
  • 200ml of rapeseed oil
To start preparing the cauliflowers, remove the green leaves from the head of each cauliflower. Cut the leaves from the stalk and discard
Use a small paring knife to remove the florets from the cauliflowers. Select 12 of the largest pieces for the fondants and cut these in half through the stalk, allowing 6 halves for each portion
Cut the remaining pieces into small florets. Blanch the small florets and stalks in salted boiling water for 1 minute, then refresh in iced water and set aside
Reserve all of the trimmings from the cauliflowers and blitz into small pieces using a Robot Coupe – this will be used for the purée at a later stage
To prepare the cauliflower slices, cut the cauliflower in half through the middle of the stalk and slice very finely on a meat slicer to achieve thin cross-sections of cauliflower. Reserve the trimmings for the purée
Deep-fry the slices at 160°C/320°F until golden brown, season with fine salt and dry on kitchen paper
For the yeasted cauliflower purée, place a heavy-based pan over a high heat and pan-roast the reserved cauliflower trimmings in the vegetable oil until they start to colour. Add the butter and heat until you are left with beurre noisette
Turn down the heat and cook until the cauliflower is a dark brown colour. Remove any excess butter and return the cauliflower to the pan, adding the milk and crumbling in the fresh yeast. Cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the yeast to cook out, then add the milk and reduce
  • 200ml of milk
  • 12g of fresh yeast
Transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz until smooth. Season with salt and lemon juice, pass through a fine sieve and reserve
To prepare the capers, drain and deep-fry at 180°C/356°F until crispy. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper and season while they are still hot
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4
Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add a knob of butter to the pan and once the butter begins to foam, add the cauliflower fondant pieces cut-side down. Season with salt and pepper
Once the fondants have achieved a golden brown colour, turn over and repeat to colour as much of the surface as possible. Place in the oven for 3 minutes
Meanwhile, place the raisins, small cauliflower florets and stalks into a small saucepan. Add a little of the pickling liquor from the grapes and a splash of the mint oil. Warm through on the stove until hot. Reheat the yeasted cauliflower purée in a separate pan
Place small spoonfuls of cauliflower purée onto each plate. Sprinkle the crispy capers onto each spoonful of purée, followed by the fresh mint leaves
Arrange the cauliflower fondants, raisins, stalks and florets as you wish, obtaining as much height as possible. Place a few of the cauliflower crisps on top and drizzle with mint oil. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

After formative years with Tom Aikens at his eponymous two Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea, Lee Westcott rose to fame at The Typing Room before launching Pensons – a beautiful restaurant with rooms on the Netherwood Estate in Worcestershire.

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