Roasted Cauliflower with Jalapeño Anchovy Sauce

This recipe combines two of the most maligned ingredients into one dish.

I’ve always considered cauliflower nothing more than white broccoli and therefore it is not on my favorite play list. But I was wrong. When roasted slowly in the oven with nothing more than olive oil it creates a toasted, nutty flavor that will revolutionize the way you think about this vegetable.

I know it will be harder to convince people on the anchovy. Most people’s first introduction is on a supreme pizza and there they may not be of the best quality. When it comes to cooking, I like to follow the three part rule: ingredients first, then equipment, and the least important is skill. This is certainly true with anchovies. Buy a good quality brand and give them a try in this recipe. I think it will change your mind.

1 cauliflower, rinsed, cored where the leaves are removed but the florets remain attached

3 tbs olive oil

sea salt

10 anchovies, best quality, we use Ortiz

1/2 cup Marcona almonds, or any skinless almond

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 cup cilantro

1 tsp finely minced jalapeño (optional)

pepper to taste

lemon juice, optional

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat.

Rub the cauliflower head liberally with olive oil including pouring any remaining into the core. Salt fairly liberally. Remove the skillet and place the cauliflower core side down and right before returning it pour in 1/4 cup water to create steam in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours and baste occasionally with additional olive oil. If cooking in a wood-fired oven you will need to rotate the skillet so it will brown evenly.

Rinse the anchovies to remove some of the salt. In a small food processor, pulse together the anchovies, almonds, and the garlic. While the processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Then add the white wine vinegar, cilantro, and jalapeño and pulse to chop and combine. Sometimes a small squeeze of lemon juice will further brighten the flavor but this is optional.

Serve the cauliflower in the hot skillet and the sauce on the side.

#cauliflower #anchovy #anchovies #almonds #woodfiredoven

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Dan McCoy