Cauliflower with onions and garlic

Cauliflower happens to be a wildly under-rated vegetable, and it’s served poorly, more often than not. A cauliflower, picked at its peak in the middle of winter, has a feel and flavour like few other vegetables. Cauli should be cooked longer than is conventionally believed. I like to cook it until it takes a knife easily, without getting near to being soft.

1 onion, chopped finely

1 clove garlic, chopped roughly

½ cup virgin olive oil

1 head of cauliflower, fresh, pure-white and firm — Cut the cauliflower away from its ’struts’ and cook only the small, individual flower heads.

100g best beans, cut in half


black pepper

½ bunch of chives, chopped


Heat the oven to 200°C.


Cook the onion and garlic in a little of the olive oil, until the onion softens — about 5 minutes on a gentle heat. Add the cauliflower pieces and the rest of the olive oil, just warming the oil through on top of the stove and making sure the onions and garlic mix well with the cauliflower.


Put the whole lot into the oven, and allow to cook gently, turning the cauliflower occasionally. It should take about 20 minutes. This can be done in the microwave, but then you’ll miss the gentle browning which comes from the oven. It still tastes great.


While the cauliflower is cooking, toss the beans into boiling water until cooked.


Toss the beans through the cauliflower mix, sprinkle with salt, black pepper and chives, and serve as an accompaniment to your best roast, or tossed through pasta.