mastering the art of [kitchen] improvisation

My Irishman is away for work this week, so last night I had the rare pleasure of having a girlfriend over for dinner, a chat and a few glasses of white wine.

I’m a bit out of practice when it comes to mid week entertaining…

So I found myself with 5 minutes until my guest was arriving and no prep work done.

Luckily, I’ve mastered the art of improvisation, so was able to come up with a speedy last minute change in the menu.

Rather than making an almond cream from scratch in the food processor, I just mixed almond meal with mayo and a little water.

Still delicious and a fraction of the time. Phew…

roast cauliflower with chickpeas & almond cream
serves 2

1/2 head cauli
1 can chickpeas (400g / 14oz), drained
small handful diced pancetta or bacon
6 tablespoons almond meal
4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).

2. Chop cauli into bight sized florettes and place in a roasting tray. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes.

3. Stir cauli and sprinkle over chickpeas and pancetta or bacon. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until everything is golden.

4. Meanwhile combine almond meal, mayo and 2-3 tablespoons water to make a sauce. Season.

5. Smear the almond cream over 2 plates. Top with cauliflower mixture.

Serve with a green salad, white wine & good conversation.

spiced cauli – toss in 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika or cumin seeds with the olive oil.

vegetarian – replace the pancetta with almonds.

vegan – replace the pancetta with almonds and use vegan mayo. Or replace the mayo with half olive oil and half extra water.

nut-free – serve the cauli with hummus instead of almond cream.

Hope you have a lovely (and dry!) weekend

Jules x

ps. SUPER excited about Master Your Meal Plan, starting TOMORROW at the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School!

For info on everything you’ll learn, go to:

Be quick! Doors close to new students Sat 3rd March 7pm EST.

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