Tastes just like the real deal
Serves 4
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A twist on the classic chicken parmigiana, this cauliflower rendition will satisfy both vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Also works like a dime for those looking for a lower calorie, healthier alternative.


  • 1 small cauliflower (1 kg), quartered
  • 2½ cups (500 g) puffed millet
  • ½ cup (50 g) walnuts
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 250 g haloumi, grated coarsely
  • ¾ cup (115 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten lightly
  • ½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil, for shallow-frying
  • 400 g bottle arrabbiata pasta sauce


  • 250 g broccoli, trimmed, cut into florets
  • ½ cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves, plus extra to serve
  • ½ cup (50 g) walnuts, toasted
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup (40 g) finely grated vegetarian parmesan-style cheese
Preheat oven to 180 C.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil; cook cauliflower for 5 mins or until just tender. Drain carefully, taking care to keep quarters intact. Rinse under cold water, drain again; pat dry.


To make crumb coating, pulse millet, walnuts, parsley and half the haloumi in a food processor until just combined but still chopped coarsely.


Toss cauliflower in seasoned flour to coat; shake to remove excess. Dip in egg, then toss in crumb coating mixture.


Heat olive oil in a large deep frying pan. Cook cauliflower, in two batches, for 2 mins on each side or until golden; drain on paper towel.


Divide cauliflower among four shallow 1½ cups (375 ml) ovenproof dishes; spoon over pasta sauce, then top with remaining haloumi. Season. Bake for 20 mins or until cheese melts and turns golden.


Meanwhile, make broccoli pesto. Process ingredients until smooth; season (makes 1¾ cups).


Serve parmigiana warm, topped with pesto and extra basil leaves.

TIP Use quinoa puffs or puffed rice instead of puffed millet, if preferred. Refrigerate leftover pesto in an airtight container covered with a thin layer of olive oil for up to 2 days; it will discolour if not used straight after making, but is still delicious.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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