I love cauliflower. I love it raw and dipped in fresh Ranch dressing. I love it mixed with broccoli and cheese. I love it cooked in roti with cilantro. This love is why I feel so disappointed when I find it on the side of an entree plate as an afterthought… usually combined with some sliced carrots and green beans in a puddle of steamy water. Cauliflower deserves to stand on its own–crisp and meaty and full of flavor. This dish puts cauliflower at center stage. I’ve also prepared this dish with chopped moroccan olives and capers (instead of the anchovies) and loved the results.
First, prep the cauliflower. A great trick to prepare cauliflower is to rinse it off and turn it upside down. Cut off the green leaves to reveal the stalks. Voila–you can now easily cut into florets by the stem. Now chop up the anchovies, garlic, and parsley. I like to keep the garlic in BIG chunks as when cooked, the chunks will become mild and caramelized.
Add the olive oil, garlic, anchovy, and red chili flakes to a medium size saute pan over medium-low heat. MAKE SURE that the pan is oven safe. Saute until the garlic starts to brown and anchovies are dissolving. Add the cauliflower florets and stir to mix. Pop the pan into a 400 degree preheated oven. Roast for 10-15 minutes (depending on how tender/crisp you like it.)
Remove from oven and top with grated pecorino and chopped fresh parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste–but be careful (the anchovy packs a lot of salt!) Place back in the oven for another few minutes until the cheese is melting. Serve hot.
Roasted Cauliflower with Anchovy, Red Chili, Garlic, and Pecorino
1/4 large head (or 1/2 small head) of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 anchovies packed in olive oil, drained and diced
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped into big pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons of grated pecorino romano
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes
salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Heat a medium size oven-safe saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, garlic pieces, chili flakes, and anchovies to the pan. Saute until the garlic is golden. Add the cauliflower and stir to coat. Place the pan into the oven.
3. Roast the cauliflower for 10-15 minutes (depending on how crisp or tender you prefer your cauliflower.) Remove from oven. Sprinkle pecorino cheese and parsley on top of the cauliflower. Add salt and pepper. Place pan back into oven. Roast another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese stars to melt. Serve hot.
Variation: If you don’t care for anchovies, you can substitute in 1 tablespoon of capers.