Whole Cauliflower Crowned with Creamy Avocado

-Recipe from Yamuna mataji

         India’s intense heat prevents the widespread use of salad greens –both for home gardeners and on a commercial scale. During northern winters, some green thumbs are successful with a few hardy types. In my search for salads with staying power, using available ingredients, I happened on this variation. It is eye-catching on a salad buffet, and often the first to disappear.

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Chilling time: 3 hours
Serves: 4 to 6

1 large cauliflower (2 pounds/1.25 kg), trimmed
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 table spoon (15 ml) lemon or lime juice
teaspoon (2 ml) cayenne pepper or paprika
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground coriander
teaspoon (1 ml) salt
1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) freshly ground pepper
2 medium-sized avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
3 table spoons (45 ml) sour cream

1.    Slice the base off the stem end of the cauliflower so it can sit on a flat surface. Fill a large pan with water to a depth of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) and place a steaming rack or trivet inside. Bring the water to a boil and place the cauliflower in the steamer. Cover, reduce the heat slightly, and steam until the cauliflower is barely tender, hour or more; avoid overcooking. Let cool, cover, and chill for 3 hours or more.
2.    Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spread the mixture over the chilled cauliflower, and serve on a bed of cabbage or outer cauliflower leaves on a serving dish. Cut into wedges and serve.