Cauliflower With Capers, Black Olives and Chiles
This bold-flavored cauliflower dish is a perfect riposte to winter blues. It combines three sunny Mediterranean flavors with white and wintry cauliflower, which is brightened hardily. It all takes under half an hour, because the only real cooking is boiling the cauliflower, and the rest is just letting the olives, capers, chiles and some garlic and lemon get acquainted.
- Serves: 4 persons
- About 1 pound of cauliflower
- ½cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
- 1heaped tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
- 2tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Grated zest and juice of a lemon
- Sea salt
- Pinch of crushed red-chile pepper
- 2garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
- ⅓cup olive oil, preferably a deep-flavored oil from Italy or Greece
Step 1Trim the cauliflower, and break the head apart into florets.
Step 2On a chopping board, combine the olives, capers, parsley and lemon zest, and chop together to mix well.
Step 3Bring a pot of water large enough to hold the cauliflower to a rolling boil. Add a big pinch of salt, and when it returns to a boil, add the florets. Cook until the florets are just barely tender, about 6 minutes.
Step 4Meanwhile, in a skillet large enough to hold all the ingredients, warm the chile flakes and the garlic in the oil over medium-low heat until hot, about 3 or 4 minutes. The chile and garlic should be starting to melt in the oil, rather than sizzling and browning. Stir in the lemon juice, and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the olive-caper mix, give it a stir, take it off the heat and set aside.
Step 5Drain the cauliflower well, shaking the colander. Combine the cauliflower with the olive-caper dressing in the skillet, and set the skillet back on medium heat. Warm it up to serving temperature, taste to make sure the seasoning is right and serve.