This dish was inspired by the whole roasted cauliflower with pine nuts, black olives and golden raisins that chef Nick Stefanelli has featured on his vegetarian tasting menu at Bibiana.
Make Ahead: The cauliflower can be prepared an hour in advance and held in a warming drawer, but it is best served just after it has been made.
- 1 large head (2 pounds) cauliflower (outer leaves removed), broken into 1 1/2-inch florets
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup shelled, roasted unsalted pistachios
- 1/3 cup cured pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Coat the cauliflower florets with the oil and salt, then spread them on the baking sheet with any flat edges down. Bake on the lower rack for 20 minutes.
Preheat the broiler, then transfer the baking sheet to the top rack and broil for 10 minutes. The florets should be browned and tender.
Meanwhile, place the raisins in a small bowl. Warm the vermouth in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, then pour it over the raisins to plump them.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter stops foaming and its solids start to brown, turning the butter golden in color, stir in the pistachios, olives, crushed red pepper flakes and lemon zest and juice. Stir the plumped raisins and any remaining vermouth into the mix. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the broiled cauliflower to the saute pan, stirring to coat and incorporate.
From Washington food writer David Hagedorn, co-author with chef Cathal Armstrong of "My Irish Table: Recipes From the Homeland and Restaurant Eve" (Ten Speed Press, March 2014).
Tested by David Hagedorn .
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