Cauliflower Rib Goujons

A goujon usually means fish but this is my veggie option, still with the satisfying crunch and meaty texture. This is not the simplest of dishes but it’s a great afternoon snack or comfort food with a beer. Using items which are too often discarded as waste; buttermilk, or whey, is a bi-product from making or splitting butter. In this method we hang yoghurt to collect the liquid whey. In traditional dairy production a lot of this product just goes down the drain. The cauliflower rib we get from the outer leaves, we don’t use the leaves here but you can save them for a stir-fry or wilted greens side. Being “green” doesn’t mean lean.

Cauliflower Rib Goujons
  • First start by hanging your yogurt overnight in muslin cloth. Saving the whey for cooking the ribs.
  • For the cauliflower ribs, using a small sharp knife, carefully remove the leaf either side or the “rib”. Then lightly peel the outer layer away, you can skip this step for the smaller ribs from the inside of the cauliflower as they are softer. 
  • Using a medium sized pot on medium heat (the pot needs to be able to fit all the ribs in as a single layer), gently toast the caraway seed till aromatic. Now reduce the heat, add your butter and garlic and cook till lightly foaming, roughly 3 minutes, you don’t want colouring here.
  • Now you want 3 separate bowls or plates for the pane process. First mix will be the plain flour with salt and pepper. Second bowl has your whole eggs and the 2 tablespoons of reduced buttermilk, pinch of salt, and give a good whisk. Third bowl is for the crispy outer shell mix; for this, pulse the oats through a food processor to a finely broken texture and then add the panko breadcrumbs and nigella seeds and lightly mix together.
  • Working in batches of 3 or 4 ribs: step 1) flour the ribs well and knock off any excess. 2) Place into the egg wash mix, lift out and let any excess drip away. 3) Now roll the ribs into your oat mixture, pressing down on all sides to evenly coat. 4) Repeat until all are finished.
  • Deep Fry in hot vegetable oil until golden and crispy and leave to drain over a kitchen towel. 
  • Serve the fridge cold yogurt tartar sauce and half lemon wedge from your zested lemon. 
  • Plate up and serve!