The late Armenian cookbook author Arto der Haroutunian, who taught Paula Wolfert this dish, caramelized cauliflower on the stove before baking it with eastern Mediterranean flavorings: chopped tomatoes, plumped raisins and Marash red pepper flakes. You can use any cazuela or flameware pot, but Wolfert likes the unglazed black La Chamba roasting pan from Colombia, which she says imparts sweetness to the dish.
More Vegetable Dishes
2 tablespoons raisins (not golden)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (4 cups)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups tomatoes—drained, peeled, seeded and chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper, preferably Marash (see Note)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, cover the raisins with water; let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch cazuela or ovenproof skillet, heat the oil. Add the cauliflower and sugar and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the cauliflower starts to soften, about 10 minutes. Raise the heat to moderate and cook until the cauliflower is lightly browned, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the tomatoes and crushed red pepper, season with salt and black pepper and cook until the tomatoes have begun to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the raisins to the cauliflower, along with 1/4 cup hot water, the pine nuts and chopped garlic. Transfer the cazuela to the oven and bake the cauliflower for about 30 minutes, until it is very tender. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve the cauliflower warm.
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