This quote is taken from Myrtle Allen’s The Ballymaloe Cookbook (1977). Ahead of her time in so many ways, Chef Myrtle Allen understood the value of simple, local, seasonal Irish food. She had no intention of allowing anything go to waste.

Here at Stop Food Waste HQ, we enjoy following her lead exploring the possibilities of using what the world discards. Recently, we turned our attention to cauliflower stalks with very tasty results. We wish to share the process with you!

Recipe for Spiced Cauliflower Stalks


The stalks of one head of cauliflower

Olive oil

Cumin seeds (approximately 1 tsp) *toasting the spices lightly before use will bring out the oils and the flavours.

Coriander seeds (approximately 1 tsp)

salt and pepper


Cut the stalks (with leaves) of the cauliflower, excluding the root. Wash and dry them. Trim away any parts that look tough or woody.

Lay out the stalks on a tray and drizzle olive oil over them. Sprinkle over the cumin and coriander seeds and season with salt and pepper. *Another way of coating the cauliflower stalks with the oil and seasoning is to put them all in a bag or sealed container and gently tossing them until they’re covered in a light layer.

Roast the cauliflower stalks in a hot oven (between 200 and 220 degrees celsius depending on your oven), turning occasionally to avoid any parts becoming too charred.

After about 20 minutes, they should be nice and crisp and you’ll smell the lovely spicy aroma in the kitchen.

These stalks make for a delicious side dish. They could be blitzed into soup. We ate them with a simple salad of rocket and pomegranate seeds with a pomegranate dressing. Fried halloumi would go well with this too.

Photographed from The Ballymaloe Cookbook (Myrtle Allen, 1977)

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