This recipe comes from Bon Appétit magazine. When I was in New York with my family we made a pilgrimage to One World Trade Centre, where their offices are based. We stared up at the magnificent glittering high-rise pinnacle piercing the blue sky and I thought about pressing the doorbell and saying, “Hey, can I come up for a visit? I’m a big fan!” It was the fourth of July holiday weekend and everyone was away. (We ended up having the best party on a riverside rooftop, dancing to a live Latin band and watching fireworks over the Hudson River.) This Southeast Asian favourite, usually made with minced pork, is an inspiration!
Crank your oven to 220°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Pour the oil onto the baking sheet and toss the cauliflower florets with the oil using your fingers. Spread the cauliflower over the whole baking sheet in a single layer.
Chop the cauliflower (with leaves and stalks) into pea-sized pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl with the chillies, lemongrass, fish sauce and lime juice. Toss well.
In a pan set over medium heat, toast the rice, shaking the pan constantly to keep the rice moving, until evenly browned, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
Grind in a spice mill or coffee grinder to a semi-fine powder. There will be gritty bits. Strangely, this will give great texture to the mixture.
Add the sliced spring onions, bean sprouts, pea shoots, watercress, coriander, mint and
When you are ready to serve add the sliced cucumber and the remaining rice powder. Lay out the baby gem lettuce leaves on a serving platter and spoon a dessertspoon of the Roasted Cauliflower Larb onto each lettuce cup.
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