Cut off the stem from the cauliflower and trim the head into florets. Blanch these in rapidly boiling salted water for 2 minutes, refresh in cold water and reserve.
Put the wine in a pan with the bay leaf, thyme, celery leaves, black peppercorns and cumin seeds. Bring to the boil and reduce at a fast boil by two-thirds.
Pass through a sieve into a frying pan. Add the lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Bring to the boil, add the florets and cook, tossing and shaking, for 2 minutes. Remove the florets and transfer to a warmed serving dish.
Continue to boil the pan liquid, stirring, until you have a syrupy residue. Spoon this over the cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle more olive oil, scatter over some whole coriander leaves and serve warm or at room temperature.
© 1998 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.