Thursday, November 21

Sweet & Sour Charred Cauliflower

This recipe is inspired by another dish that we ate at Gjelina last weekend. They do a great job with interesting vegetable dishes, and it's one of the few places where I often like the sides as much as the main courses. Part of their success comes from a super hot wood-burning oven (it's rumored to cook pizzas in 90 seconds) that adds a nice char and smokey flavor to nearly everything they cook. Most of us don't have our own pizza ovens at home, but searing the vegetables in a hot pan and then finishing them in the oven (the same way that I like to cook a lot of meat and fish) is an easy way to get the same dark charred flavor into your dishes.

More Cauliflower Recipes:
Parmesan-Roasted Romanesco
Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
Cauliflower & Pancetta Shells

Sweet & Sour Charred Cauliflower:
  • Combine 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tbsp. fish sauce, and 1/2 tbsp. sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. canola oil in a skillet until very hot and almost smoking.
  • Add in 1 head of cauliflower,* cut into florets, and do not stir for 3-4 minutes (this will allow the cauliflower to brown and char in some places).
  • Turn the cauliflower with a spatula, sprinkle 1 sliced Fresno chile** on top, and transfer the skillet to a 450F oven.
  • Cook for 7-8 minutes, then toss with the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and cauliflower is tender.
  • Let cool slightly, then serve.

Serves two-three (side dish)
*I used heirloom cauliflower from my farmers market, which is why it is green in the photo.
**Remove the seeds to cut down on the spice.