"There's a style of Italian cooking known as exotico," says Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. "In Friuli it often refers to ingredients and dishes from the port of Trieste, where spices and dried fruit are popular." This exotico cauliflower, which cooks in the capon's rich poaching liquid, is tossed with two kinds of raisins and a tangy dressing flavored with mustard seeds and cumin.
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1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
About 2 quarts Capon Poaching Liquid or chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 heads of cauliflower, cored and separated into 3-inch florets
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the slivered almonds in a pie plate. Toast the almonds in the oven for about 4 minutes, or until lightly browned.
In a medium saucepan, toast the yellow and brown mustard seeds with the cumin seeds over high heat, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar, water and white vinegar and cook, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in the raisins and cranberries, cover and remove from the heat. Let the dressing stand for 2 hours.
Light a grill. In a large pot, bring the Capon Poaching Liquid to a simmer over moderate heat. Add the cauliflower florets, reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower florets to a large baking sheet and let cool slightly. Toss the florets with olive oil and season with salt.
Grill the cauliflower over moderately high heat, stem ends up, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until well browned. Turn and grill the cauliflower for 2 minutes longer, or until tender; transfer the cauliflower to a platter. Stir the toasted almonds, chives, parsley and the 1/4 cup of olive oil into the raisin dressing and season with salt. Spoon the raisin dressing over the grilled cauliflower florets and serve.
The poached cauliflower and raisin dressing can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight; keep the toasted almonds at room temperature. Let the cauliflower and raisin dressing return to room temperature before finishing the dish.
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