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Cauliflower Tempura with Harissa Cauliflower Purée and Mint Scape Pesto

Serves 4.


    This detoxifying tempura will be sure to jazz up any dinner party! Garlic scapes arrive in late spring and are similar to asparagus in texture but pack a distinct garlic taste that’s slightly milder than the bulbs. They’re great pickled, on the grill, or turned into a wonderful pesto.



    The key to ensuring cauliflower is baked evenly is to make sure florets are cut in even, bite-sized pieces.


    Cauliflower Tempura with Harissa Cauliflower Purée and Mint Scape Pesto


    • 8 to 10 fresh young garlic scapes
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted raw shelled pistachios
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh chopped basil
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh chopped mint
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
    Cauliflower purée
    • 1 medium-sized cauliflower, including stems and leaves
    • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 cups (500 mL) whole milk or dairy substitute
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) harissa paste or dry seasoning
    • 1 bay leaf
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
    Breaded tempura coating
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose or gluten-free flour
    • 2 organic eggs
    • 1 cup (250 mL) panko bread crumbs or gluten-free substitute
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
    • Fresh mint, basil, and slices of radish for garnish (optional)


    Per serving:

    • calories572
    • protein20g
    • fat34g
      • saturated fat8g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates49g
      • sugars10g
      • fibre7g
    • sodium421mg



    In food processor, make pesto combining garlic scapes, grated Parmesan, pistachios, basil, and mint, and pulse into a rustic, chunky paste. Slowly add olive oil and whirl in until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to tightly covered container in refrigerator.


    Trim stem and leaves from cauliflower. Cut cauliflower into bite-size florets. Chop stem and leaves.


    In saucepan, sauteu0301 garlic over medium heat until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add chopped cauliflower stem and leaves and a few of the florets, reserving remaining florets for oven-baked cauliflower tempura. Continue to sauteu0301 until cauliflower has begun to soften. Add milk, harissa, and bay leaf; cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until mixture is very soft. Remove bay leaf. Transfer mixture to blender and pureu0301e until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if you wish. Set aside while making breaded tempura coating for remaining florets.


    Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Using three separate bowls, place flour in one; eggs with a splash of water in another, whisking to blend; and bread crumbs stirred with oil in the third. Dust each cauliflower floret with flour, then dip in egg wash and roll into bread crumbs. Place in single layer on rack over parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently dab with oil or lightly spray each floret with a little oil to lightly coat. You want your florets to be even-sized and to air fry them for crispness. If you have a convection oven, or an actual air fryer, follow cooking directions specific to them. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Timing will depend on how you are baking them.


    To serve, place a ladle of cauliflower pureu0301e in centre of plate and swirl. Place a couple of roasted cauliflower florets on top. Drizzle a little Mint Scape Pesto around dish and garnish with a few small mint and basil leaves and some radish slices, if you wish. Repeat.


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    This recipe is part of the Root to Stem collection.



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    Going Pro

    Going Pro

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