Poached pear with goat’s cheese and cauliflower puree.

I took a training course today which focused on building resilience in teenagers (I’m a teacher) and a large part of the discussion centred around how we, as humans, are very good at dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. The Mindfulness movement has been popular for this reason and there is certainly a lot to be said for stopping, focusing on the moment at hand and feeling present. I began to think about how cooking can be a great tool for activating yet relaxing both your mind and your body. I cook for myself most nights for this reason. This is a recipe I thought of on the tube on the way home; let me know what you think. Here’s what you need:

1 peeled pear

Half a cauliflower broken into florets

2 shallots

A small cup of veggie stock

Three tbsp of soft goats cheese

A good glug of cheap red wine

A tsp of brown sugar

1 cardamom seed (crushed)

A glug of pomegranate molasses (optional)

Two dates (or more, of course)

A small handful of walnuts

  1. Place your pear in a saucepan and cover it half with red wine and then top it up with water until it is submerged. Stir in the molasses, sugar, cardamom and poach for about at least 45 minutes. The longer you leave it, the better it will taste. I left mine for an hour. If you like a slightly more acidic taste, add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  2. Whilst the pear is poaching, place the florets and peeled shallots into a baking tray and add the stock. Cook at a high-ish heat for about 25 minutes, or when the water has evaporated.
  3. In a bowl, blend the florets, shallots and goat’s cheese with a hand blender. Add more goat’s cheese according to taste and season.
  4. Place the cauliflower puree in a circle in the middle of a plate. Put the pear on the top and decorate with the dates (pip them!) and the walnuts. You can drizzle a balsamic glaze on the top if you like…I just didn’t have any!


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