Green Cauliflower Espuma

'Espuma' is Spanish for 'foam' and the same term is also used in Catalan to distinguish foam from scum ('escuma'), which is just as well because there's nothing unpleasant about cauliflower espuma. There was a recent craze for reinventing the boring old cauliflower with cheese sauce - turning it on its head as fried Greek cheese with cauliflower espuma. I haven't tried it myself, but I'm told it's excellent and I don't doubt it. In this recipe I show you how to make your own green cauliflower espuma. This makes a great pairing with any meat that has flavoursome melting fat - especially lamb. I like it with butifarra negra, or Catalan blood sausage.


1 green cauliflower or Romanesco broccoli
250ml single cream
freshly grated nutmeg

You can make cauliflower espuma with ordinary white cauliflower, but I think the colour of green cauliflower adds to the excitement of the dish. You can also make this with the closely-related Romanesco broccoli - this and green cauliflower are often grouped together under the classification of 'broccoflower'.

To prepare the green cauliflower the principle remains the same as for an ordinary cauliflower: remove the green leaves that surround the brassica, cut out the tough central stem and break the remainder of the vegetable down by hand into even sized florets. Place these into salted boiling water and cook until a knife runs smoothly in and out of the stalk of each floret.

Strain in a colander, then transfer to a bowl and purée the cauliflower with full cream, a good seasoning of salt and a little freshly grated nutmeg.
Boiling the green cauliflower

Adding a generous measure of creamThe trick at this point is to go against your instincts by deliberately over-salting the purée relative to your palate. This is because when you charge the cauliflower with compressed air in the siphon to make the foam, it loses salinity. When you release some of the espuma from the siphon and taste it you'll find that what tasted too salty before will now be just right.Now for the nutmeg and plenty of salt

More cream to get the consistency just rightHaving made your cauliflower purée, pass it through a fine sieve and pour the smooth mixture into a siphon. To serve, simply spray onto the plate from the siphon.

When serving green cauliflower espuma, a little crispy deep fried julienne of leek will add a complementary flavour and a crunchy texture to this absolutely delicious and luxurious dish.
Perfect and ready for the siphon