Food & Drink Magazine

Sicilian Style Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Capers & Roasted Red Peppers

By Weavethousandflavors

Sicilian cauliflower salad- 02

It's incredible what we retain in passing conversations. At no point growing up did my Mum and Grandma ever sit me down and say "Don't boil your cauliflower" and yet here I am with that understanding as clear as a bell that cauliflower and water and not necessarily the best of friends.

It's just that cauliflower gains nothing from boiling or the addition of water and in fact loses its nutrients in the process. Enter, roasting.

Now here is a cooking method I love - the cauliflower with just a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper, comes alive and releases its natural sweetness making this an oh so delicious vegetable.

So when I came across this Sicilian recipe, I fell in love with the fresh ingredients minus the boiling and then decided to tweak it some. Now did you really think I was going to follow a recipe to the T? Since when has that ever happened!

So here are my tweaks, out with boiling the caulis and in with roasting, out with vinegar and in with fresh lemon juice and zest. And since using black olives would be poor form to traditional oil cured olives which I had none off,  I decided to use golden raisins instead.  Also, I thought the roasted red peppers though not traditional add that wonderful (and much needed) burst of color.

And there you are - Sicilian Cauliflower Salad, only better!

Sicilian cauliflower salad- Ingredients
Sicilian cauliflower salad- Prepare Ingredients

Gather the ingredients - large cauliflower - approx. 2 lbs +, red roasted peppers, from a jar, golden raisins, salt, ground black pepper, olive oil.

For the  Dressing - extra virgin olive oil, lemon, flat anchovies (from a jar/can),  garlic cloves, capers and fresh parley leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 deg F. Prepare the ingredients.

Cauliflower - Get rid of leaves, central stalk & knob at the bottom. With fingers, separate the cauliflower florets. If the florets are huge - 2" or larger, halve & then quarter with a knife. Set aside.

Garlic - Peel the cloves and roughly chop. Set aside.

Lemon - Using a zester (love microplane) zest the lemon and set aside. Juice 1/2 the lemon and set aside in a separate bowl.

Parsley leaves - Finely chop and set aside.

Roasted red peppers - Halve lengthwise and then cut into 1/4" wide strips. Set aside.

Sicilian cauliflower salad- Toss cauliflower florets
Sicilian cauliflower salad- Roasted cauliflower florets

Line a large roasting pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Spread the cauliflower florets in a single layer all over the sheet. Drizzle the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Toss with clean hands to thoroughly oil the cauliflower florets.

Roast in the hot oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and give the cauliflowers a toss with a spatula. Spread out the florets once again in a single layer.

Reduce the oven temp to 400 deg F.

Continue roasting the cauliflower for the last 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes.

Sicilian cauliflower salad- Dressing ingredients in bowl
Sicilian cauliflower salad- Whisk Dressing ingredients

 
Dressing - While the cauliflower is roasting:

Place the anchovies at the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Mash with the bottom of a spoon or a fork.

Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk till combined and cloudy.

Add the remaining ingredients - parsley, garlic, raisins, capers and lemon zest. Whisk until combined. Set aside till ready to use.

Sicilian cauliflower salad- Toss cauliflower in dressing

Add the cooled cauliflower to the dressing and toss. Add the sliced roasted red peppers and capers.

Toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt (I needed none).

Garnish with some additional chopped parsley if desired and serve.

Serve at room temperature.

Sicilian cauliflower salad- 01

The taste of sweet roasted cauliflower with the tartness form the anchovies, lemon and capers in phenomenal. Incredibly light refreshing and healthful.

I love that this salad is served at room temperature which means it need not be handled with kid gloves at barbecues and potlucks especially when the temps are seething!

 

Recipe for

Sicilian Style Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Adapted from a recipe by Fabrizia Tasca Lanza

Preparation time - 15 minutes

Roasting Time - 25 minutes

Cooling time - 10 minutes

Serves 4

Shopping list  

1 large cauliflower - approx. 2 lbs +

3 red roasted peppers, from a jar

1 tbs raisins

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

5 tbs olive oil

Dressing -

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon

6 flat anchovies

4 garlic cloves

2 tbs capers

1/2 cup parley leaves

Preparation -

Preheat the oven to 450 deg F.

Cauliflower - Get rid of leaves, central stalk & knob at the bottom. With fingers, separate the cauliflower florets. If the florets are huge - 2" or larger, halve & then quarter with a knife. Set aside.

Garlic - Peel the cloves and roughly chop. Set aside with the onions.

Lemon - Using a zester (love microplane) zest the lemon and set aside. Juice 1/2 the lemon and set aside in a separate bowl.

Parsley leaves - Finely chop and set aside.

Roasted red peppers - Halve lengthwise and then cut into 1/4" wide strips. Set aside.

Method -

Line a large roasting pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Spread the cauliflower florets in a single layer all over the sheet. Drizzle the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Toss with clean hands to throughly oil the cauliflower florets.

Roast in the hot oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and give the cauliflowers a toss with a spatula. Spread out the florets once again in a single layer.

Reduce the oven temp to 400 deg F.

Continue roasting the cauliflower for the last 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes.

Dressing - While the cauliflower is roasting:

Place the anchovies at the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Mash with the bottom of a spoon or a fork.

Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk till combined and cloudy.

Add the remaining ingredients - parsley, garlic, raisins, capers and lemon zest. Whisk until combined. Set aside till ready to use.

Add the cooled cauliflower to the dressing and toss. Add the sliced roasted red peppers and capers.

Toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt (I needed none).

Garnish with some additional chopped parsley if desired and serve.

Serve at room temperature.

Enjoy!

 


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