I am very particular about how I like my cauliflower. I used to like it if my mom roasted it with butter, breadcrumbs, and cheese. I still only liked the small pieces that were doused in the topping, but I ate it when we had to have it on the table. I’ve changed my cauliflower ways to enjoy it with a little more variety.
My friend Deborah told me to try it with capers and raisins once. I don’t know where she’d heard that, but it sounded slightly odd to me at the time. And then I tried it and loved it. I’ve made this dozens of times over the last few years and have finally realized I should write it down to remember for the next time. This is a healthier, yet nice and salty, way to make your cauliflower sans butter and breadcrumbs and melty melty cheese. It’s of course, naturally gluten free. It goes well as a side, on top of salad, over pasta, or a big honkin’ plate of it if you just need your cauliflower fix.
This time around I had a purple cauliflower from Two Happy Children at the SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown. I let him pick the cauliflower and then I devoured the whole thing roasted this way in 2 meals.
Purple Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins, Capers, and Almonds
1 whole head of cauliflower
1-2 Tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
3 Tablespoons raisins
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup whole almonds, chopped
1/4 cup packed parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon anchovies or fillets on top (optional)
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400. Tear the cauliflower into bite sized odd-shaped chunks and place in a 9×12 pyrex (cauliflower should have plenty of room so it can get browned). Pour about 1 tablespoon olive oil and a hefty dash of salt and mix it all up with your hands. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is slightly browned and tender through.
While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the other ingredients. I like small chunks of raisins, so I chop those but it’s not necessary. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the capers, parsley, garlic, raisins, and vinegar and the zest and anchovy if using. When the cauliflower is getting tender, add the nuts, mix it up and let cook for another 5 minutes. You can also toast these separately, but I get lazy! When the cauliflower and almonds are done, toss in a bowl with the caper mixture. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately.*
*If you’re not going to serve this right away, toast the almonds separately and add almonds and caper mixture just when you’re going to serve it.
I must’ve eaten this so fast I didn’t take a picture!