The Food

Recipe #4

Incredible baked cauliflower and broccoli cannelloni, Jamie Oliver (Jamie at home)

The first cook book I either bought or was given (I forget which) was Jamie Oliver’s The Return of the Naked Chef which was very on trend on TV at the time. Jamie at home is from 2007, when he had become more of a national darling, and although he claims to have been most influenced by watching The Good Life as a kid growing up, my more cynical side detects the whiff of Fearnley-Whittingstall about this book – I suspect Oliver’s publishers saw a new trend very quickly and pushed him on the bandwagon.

Interspersed with the recipes are historical vignettes on various ingredients, (ghost?!)-written in Oliver’s typical style, and gardening tips very much not in his standard style. Editorial criticism aside, the recipes within are excellent – those that I’ve tried thus far anyway.

Never afraid of a bit of hyperbole, this “incredible” dish really is rather excellent. I don’t cook a lot of vegetarian food, but this certainly makes up for the lack of meat with a great balance of flavours. Mashed broccoli and cauliflower (cooked with garlic, herbs, a touch of chilli and a few anchovies) is piped into cannelloni (or in my case wrapped in half-lasagne sheets), nestled on a bed of passata and covered in a creme fraiche cheese sauce topped with lots more cheese then baked.

Delicious – any new dish that gets my elder son’s approval on first tasting is a rare thing and he approved of this one!

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