Cutting-edge, cauliflower pastry pie with spinach and salmon

I first learned how to use low-carb cauliflower instead of high-carb potatoes in a book by India Knight and Nerris Thomas entitled Neris and India’s Idiot-Proof Diet: From Pig to Twig. The bad news was that I somehow managed to prove that it wasn’t idiot proof, but the good news was that in the process, I discovered some very good, lighter dishes, and also the magic method of producing mash with cauliflower.

More recently I’ve discovered the benefits of cauliflower steaks which make an excellent and surprisingly hearty, lunch topped by a whole range of things (post to come).

It’s only a skip and a jump on to consider making a kind of pastry with cauliflower. It’s a bit wet, so the thing to do is to bulk it out, and dry it out a bit using parmesan, and then bind it together with egg and form it into a base not dissimilar in texture to the biscuit base of a cheesecake. I wish I could claim the credit for it, but I got the idea from a recipe contributed by Amy Lee in Nourished Kitchen, published by The Australian Women’s Weekly – it’s genius!

This is how pies are going nowadays. The whole culinary world is becoming fluid; old, static definitions are no longer helpful. It’s a wilderness, but an exciting one!

I’ve made a lot of changes to Amy Lee’s recipe, doubling the amount of parmesan, substituting the ricotta for feta, and much else.

cauliflower pastry base
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Frances Jones-Davies

Very interesting article and great idea for a base. I will be experimenting with other toppings. Thank you

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