Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies, by far. I love it roasted plain, with some salt and pepper, and it's also amazing pureed (healthier version of mashed potatoes!). I have even seen cauliflower being used as a base for pizza crust! How genius is that? But I have to say, this here is the BEST cauliflower recipe I have ever tried. The sweetness of the balsamic vinegar and golden raisins, combined with the intense saltinessof the anchovies is truly a winning combination. As I said in this post, do NOT be afraid of anchovies. They add a salty richness to dishes, not a fishy taste. Just trust me. Do it.
The fresh parsley isn't completely necessary, but with the complex flavors in this dish it adds a really nice freshness.
Roasted Cauliflower with Golden Raisins and Anchovy Vinaigrette (adapted from The New York Times)
Serves 8 (as a side)
1 large cauliflower, cored, trimmed and separated into florets
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sherry or balsamic vinegar, or to taste
4 minced anchovy fillets, with a little of their oil, or to taste
1/2 cup raisins, preferably golden
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put cauliflower in roasting pan, drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil and some salt and pepper; toss. Roast, turning once or twice, for 15 minutes or so, until cauliflower just starts to soften.
Meanwhile, make vinaigrette by combining remaining oil with vinegar, anchovies and a little salt and pepper; taste and adjust seasoning. Remove pan, drizzle cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette, and toss. Roast, turning once, until a thin-bladed knife pierces a piece with little resistance, for 15 minutes.
At last minute, put cauliflower in salad bowl and add raisins, parsley and remaining vinaigrette and toss. Taste and sprinkle with salt, if needed, and lots of pepper, then serve.