Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sicilian Cauliflower

- a recipe posted by Chef Michael Symon on 02/20/2010

Sicilian Cauliflower shallots
Cauliflower with shallots

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 c golden raisins plumped in marsala
1/2 c toasted pine nuts
2 Tbsp capers rinsed
1 tsp white anchovy, minced
2 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon - juice and zest
1 orange - juice and zest
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
4 shallots, minced

1. Heat oven to 400°F.
2. Toss cauliflower in a little oil and salt, and roast on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
3. Mix cauliflower with raisins, pine nuts, parsley, capers and set aside.
4. Place garlic, shallot, chile flakes, and cumin in a mixing bowl and season with a pinch of kosher salt.
5. Top shallot mixture with lemon and orange juice and zest, and add honey.
6. Whisk in olive oil and toss with cauliflower mixture and serve.

Depature from recipe:
1. Bug didn't know what to do with the anchovies, so this was not added.
2. I do not eat raw shallots; therefore, they were added and mixed on Bug's plate separately.
3. We couldn't find flat leaf parsley, so that was also axed.
4. I do not drink alcohol, so no marsala was used.

The cauliflower remained white after 5 minutes in the oven, so they were left in the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

Sicilian Cauliflower
Cauliflower w/o shallots

We were skeptical of this dish at first; however, Bug enjoyed the dish so immensely that he ate 2/3 of it in less than 24 hours. A rather mundane plate of cauliflower was transformed into a colorful bowl of ambrosia; juicy, crunchy, chewy, and grainy bites with a bursting myriad of flavors spanning from sweet, bitter, salty, nutty, tart, to smoky. The shallots, according to Bug, added more zip and crunch.

As this side is a scene stealer, it would go well with something bold like steak.

Using this preparation, I would imagine it working well as an entree with shrimp or chicken paired with wild rice and asparagus.

Unfortunately, Bug developed "pine nut mouth" 2 days later. He has had a persistent bitter, metallic, and soapy taste in the back of his mouth for the past 4 days. Apparently, this is a result of consuming pine nuts processed in a particular manner, typically sourced from China, as the ones we purchased at a Cleveland Giant Eagle were.

No more 190 lb squirrel stealing pine nuts. Bug has become gun-shy from this ordeal, so I'm not sure when we will next purchase pine nuts.

- Cassaendra

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