Friday, April 24, 2009

cauliflower with almonds, capers and raisins

Dag. It wasn’t until posting the photo that I realized we omitted the bread crumbs from this dish. I can see them now, sitting in their ramekin all golden and toasty warm, just waiting to be showered over the cauliflower. Those poor little pankos.

Still, I think the dish was tasty without them (not that I'm encouraging that). And if by some miracle you’ve already exhausted the suite of cauliflower recipes I mentioned last week (yes, cauliflower recipes now comprise approximately 20% of this blog’s content), this is a pretty exciting alternative.

The original recipe, conceived by Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, calls for cauliflower steaks, but we cut ours into florets in order to maximize the ratio of crispy caramelized bits.

Cauliflower with Almonds, Capers and Raisins

Adapted from Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern

Serves 4

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons fresh soft bread crumbs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons whole almonds
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1-2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon finely sliced chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a mixing bowl, toss cauliflower with oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet and roast, stirring and turning once or twice, until cauliflower is tender and crispy brown in spots, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a large ovenproof skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. When it has melted, add bread crumbs and toss until toasted and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a plate and wipe out pan.

Return pan to medium heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add almonds and toss until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer almonds to a plate, let cool, and cut each almond into three pieces; set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter and add raisins, vinegar and 1 tablespoon water. Simmer until raisins are plump and soft, about 5 minutes; drain and set aside. In a small bowl, combine almonds, capers, raisins, parsley, tarragon and chives. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix.

Toss the roasted cauliflower with the almond-herb mixture and sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.

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