Savory Sicilian Cauliflower with Raisins, Capers, and Olives

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don’t feel like reading this story? I don’t blame you. Feel free to skip to the recipe here

Savory Sicilian CauliflowerLast week I began discussing roasted cauliflower, which I first used in a colorful cauliflower salad and then in a modern take on an Indian classic, aloo gobi (cauliflower, potatoes, and peas). I have one more salad I’d like to share before moving on to soups and other things. Today’s dish is a different way to enjoy roasted cauliflower in classic Sicilian style, where the crucifer plays nicely with briny olives, sweet raisins, salty capers, and crispy breadcrumbs.

The star of this recipe is splendid roasted cauliflower, of course, but its uniqueness shines through its other ingredients. While I love all the individual foods included, it’s not something I would have thought to create on my own. Perhaps because I’m not Sicilian? Yeah, let’s go with that. Sicilian or not, I took liberties in making a few better-for-everyone modifications to Bon Appétit’s version. First, I used whole wheat bread for the crumbs rather than white due to its higher nutritional content. Second, I selected regular capers rather than “salt-packed” to reduce my sodium intake. Third, I used vegetable stock rather than chicken stock.*  Finally, I added green olives because it seemed a natural fit to the dish to me and I love olives.

If you enjoy savory food with big flavors, you will love this dish. I originally presented it as a side salad, but placing the mixture atop a bed of greens and adding a nice whole grain to the mix—say, quinoa, farro, bulgur, or brown rice—would create a delightful big salad for dinner. It would also make a really nice side dish.

Sicilan Roasted Cauliflower

However you serve it, here’s just one more way to enjoy roasted cauliflower—and that’s always a good thing.

* Chicken stock aside: I really don’t understand why chicken stock is constantly used in vegetarian recipes.There is a slightly different outcome in flavor—I used to eat poultry—but it’s not significant in my view. I’ll bet my vegetarian readers are well-accustomed to seeing a fabulous veggie dish on a menu and then learning it was made with beef or chicken stock. Sigh. I won’t travel down this road further other than to say it’s just silliness. I can’t control what restaurants do but I can determine what happens in my own kitchen. I encourage you to choose the vegetarian stock option here and other places to create a dish that is cheaper to make and has less of an impact on the envioronment. And, er, the chicken.

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Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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