To add flavour, mix in herbs and seasoning — oregano, salt and pepper works well.

The base needs to be baked for about 15 minutes (200c/gas 6) until it’s golden brown and crisp at the edges.

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Rather than boiling, a whole cauliflower should be chopped and ground in a food processor while still raw, to replicate some of the crunch you get with chickpeas.

This can be further enhanced by adding chopped almonds to the mix.

Break a whole head of cauliflower into florets and boil in a pan until tender enough to mash.

Drain well since, like most vegetables, it releases far more liquid during cooking than your average King Edward spud.

Dieters love cauliflower, too, as a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate alternative to starchy bread, pasta and rice. It’s the perfect time to give it a go, thanks to an early bumper crop that has seen prices slashed in supermarkets.

Tesco has cut prices from £1 to 79p for a whole cauli and has bought an extra 220,000 from its suppliers.

To make your own, first whizz up a whole cauli in a blender, then place in a bowl, cover, and heat on high in a microwave for six minutes until soft.

Squeeze out any excess liquid using a clean tea towel, then mix the cauliflower with ground almonds, for extra solidity, and two beaten eggs to bind the ‘dough’.

Like other brassicas, including broccoli, sprouts and cabbage, they also contain high levels of glucosinolates, which act as antioxidants, protecting the body’s cells from damage. Here are the most appetising — and inventive — ways to turn those extra cauliflowers into everything from shepherd’s pie to rice pudding . You’ll get extra fibre and vitamins, while missing out on the carbs normally associated with this heavy, yet satisfying dish.