Piccata sauce — that buttery, briny combination of lemon, butter and capers, silky in texture and tart in flavor — is not just for chicken or swordfish. It’s also a zesty anchor for roasted vegetables. Here, cauliflower is roasted at high heat, which concentrates the flavor, adds nuttiness and encourages caramelization, before being doused with the sauce. Chickpeas make this a fuller vegetarian meal, but leave them out if you’d rather. Piccata dishes are often served with long pasta, which tangle with the tangy sauce, but this one is also great alongside rice or tender-crisp vegetables like blistered green beans. While you are at it, try this sauce with sweet butternut squash, charred broccoli, earthy roasted carrots, golden wedges of cabbage or crispy slices of tofu. To get vegetarian recipes like this one delivered to your inbox, sign up for The Veggie newsletter.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1cauliflower, cut into large 2-inch florets
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1(15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained (optional)
- 1shallot, finely diced
- 3garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1cup vegetable stock
- 4tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2tablespoons capers, drained
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- Parsley, chopped, for garnish
- 1lemon, sliced, for serving
Step 1Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the cauliflower florets onto a sheet pan and drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is golden and tender. Remove from the oven, add the chickpeas, if using, and toss to combine.
Step 2Heat a medium skillet to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the shallot, and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly to keep from scorching. Pour the stock into the pan and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then stir in the butter, capers, lemon zest and juice. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a few turns of black pepper.
Step 3To serve, place the cauliflower and chickpeas, if using, on serving plates. Top with the lemon caper sauce. Top with parsley and serve with lemon slices.