Cauliflower Leaf Summer Salad

I haven't had the chance to recipe test and post in what feels like donkey's years - and for that I am sorry!  I am craving to be in the kitchen, and the dust is finally beginning to settle.  When things are changing and don’t exactly go quite as smoothly as planned, a handful of fresh ingredients, a few pantry staples and a little no-waste attitude can go an extremely long way to feed the soul sometimes. 

It’s funny how we often don’t think about what we don’t eat and why we don’t.  Cauliflower leaves are one such example.  Growing up, it’s what protected the food.  Now, it is the food.  When you don’t feel like spending on 101 cruciferous veg - that can cost an arm and a leg in some parts of the world - buy the cauliflower and get the best bang for your buck.

I'm actually really rather excited about having discovered the cauliflower leaf.  This time it's just blanched.  But imagine the possibilities...  More to come that's for sure, so stay tuned.

Cauliflower Leaf Summer Salad
nibs etc. original recipe. Serves 1.

4 large Cauliflower Leaves
1 Nectarine
1 tbsp Salted Peanuts
Salt + Pepper
1 tsp Honey
1 tsp Unsalted Butter
Goats Cheese - as much or as little as your heart desires

Bring a pot of water to the boil.
In the meantime, thinly slice your nectarine horizontally, carefully cutting around the seed as you move up the fruit.  Heat a non stick frying pan with honey and butter until melted.  As it starts to bubble and spread, coat the bottom of the pan, add the fruit and pan fry on medium high heat for about 3-5 minutes on each side until starting to blacken.  Keep an eye on them as you prep the rest of the salad, and simply turn off the heat when ready.
Wash and thinly slice your cauliflower leaves across the central rib – about 1cm thick.  Toss into salted boiling water, blanch for 1-2 minutes until leaves are just wilting and centre ‘rib’ still has a slight crunch.  Rinse under cold water to halt cooking.
Roughly chop your peanuts and dry roast on high heat until you begin to smell them and they start to darken in colour – a little blackening is a good thing!
To plate, place a half off the rounds of caramelized nectarine on a plate, top with a few chunks of goats cheese and half of the cauliflower leaves.  Repeat the layers once more, being sure to top with 1 slice of nectarine and one small chunk of goats cheese.  Shower in peanuts, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.  While the peanuts are salted, a little flaky sea salt never hurt anybody.

Substituting any other summer stone fruit: apricots, plums, peaches.
Should you not have cauliflower lying around, kale and chard will work just as well.
Add a sprinkling of mixed nuts and or seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, rapeseed etc.
If you're not fond of the goat's cheese, go with a creamy Brie or Camembert.