Sicilian Roasted Cauliflower
This is a raid-the-pantry dish. I don't know about you, but my pantry is bursting. Some days I open the cupboard afraid that I'll get hit in the head with a 5 lb bag of flour from the top shelf. Today, when I pulled out the ingredients for this recipe, even my overly stocked pantry had some holes and I had to run out for chicken broth. Pacific's single cup 4-packs are the single best innovation since the toaster oven. Speaking of which I made this in the toaster oven!
This dish really zhuzhes up a fine, but otherwise blank cauliflower canvas. The combination of anchovies, pickled raisins and crunchy bread crumbs is specific, brilliant and unique to native regional offerings from Sicily.
Crispy Cauliflower with Capers, Raisins, and Breadcrumbs
adapted from Susan Spungen Bon Apétit Nov 2011
Serves 6-8 as a side
1 large head of cauliflower (2 pounds), cut into 2" florets
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, soaked, rinsed, patted dry (or from the jar!)
3/4 cup fresh coarse breadcrumbs (Panko works well here)
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower florets with 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl; season mixture lightly with salt and pepper. Spread cauliflower mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until cauliflower is golden and crispy, about 30-35 minutes. DO AHEAD: Cauliflower can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Reheat before using.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan over medium- low heat. Add garlic and capers and cook, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes until garlic is golden and capers start to pop. Add breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden, 2-3 minutes; transfer breadcrumb mixture to a plate and set aside.
Add chicken broth and anchovy paste (if using) to same saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add golden raisins and white wine vinegar and cook until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. DO AHEAD: Breadcrumb and raisin mixtures can be made 2 hours ahead. Rewarm raisin mixture before continuing.
Transfer warm cauliflower to a serving bowl. Scatter raisin mixture over, then toss to distribute evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cauliflower with breadcrumb mixture and parsley.