Friday, May 25, 2012

Cauliflower Caponata

I love cauliflower. When I was a kid, I could eat an entire head of it, steamed until soft and coated with melted butter. I'd still happily make a meal out of nothing but cauliflower, but Mr Minx would not be pleased. Recently, I decided to do something that involved a bit more work than merely chopping the veg into florets and tossing them into a pot - make caponata. Usually made with eggplant, I couldn't see why the typical sweet and sour flavors of caponata couldn't be used with any vegetable, especially one that's relatively bland.

Cauliflower Caponata

olive oil
1 cauliflower head, broken into small pieces
1 onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons dried sour cherries, chopped (raisins, if you prefer)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet and toss with a few tablespoons of oil. Roast until edges brown and vegetable is no longer crunchy, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Cook onion and shallot in a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. When onions are soft and starting to brown, add the next five ingredients. Turn the temperature to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place cauliflower in a bowl, add topping, and stir. Toss in walnuts and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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