Stuck with a case of cauliflower in the Purple Pig kitchen during a blizzard, Jimmy Bannos Jr. threw some on the flat-top grill until it was charred and smoky. “I never had cauliflower that way,” he says. The next day he put the dish on the menu, adding tart cornichons and toasted bread crumbs.
Slideshow:More Ideas for Cauliflower
Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
5 ounces day-old Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 heads of cauliflower, preferably green and white—halved, cored and cut into 1-inch florets
1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
3/4 cup thinly sliced cornichons
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a pie plate, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden and crisp. Transfer the croutons to a food processor and pulse until coarse bread crumbs form.
Preheat a grill pan. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill half of the florets in the hot pan over moderately high heat, turning, until crisp-tender and charred in spots, 7 to 10 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
Add the parsley, cornichons, lemon juice and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the cauliflower and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and serve.
The cauliflower can stand at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top just before serving.
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