CAULIFLOWER, ROASTED WITH RAISINS AND VINAIGRETTE
Roasting toughens cauliflower and dries it out a bit; with many foods, this description might not sound that appealing, but because cauliflower is often mushy and watery, these are good things. I like to get it nice and brown, and cooking it with a bit of the dressing deepens its flavor. The remaining vinaigrette is tossed with the cauliflower at the last minute, along with the raisins, whose sweetness counters the vinegar beautifully.
Other vegetables you can use: broccoli spears or any root vegetable, cut into cubes and roasted.
Makes: 4 or more servings
Time: 45 minutes, largely unattended
• 1 large head cauliflower, cored, trimmed, and separated into florets
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar, or to taste
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the cauliflower in a roasting pan, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to distribute. Roast, turning once or twice, for 15 minutes or so, until the cauliflower just starts to soften.
2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining oil with the vinegar and a little salt and pepper; taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove the pan from the oven, drizzle the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Roast again, turning once more, until a thin-bladed knife pierces a piece with little resistance, another 15 minutes. (The recipe may be made ahead to this point, cooled, covered tightly, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Return to room temperature before proceeding.)
3. When you're ready to serve, put the cauliflower in a large salad bowl and add the raisins and parsley. Add the remaining dressing and toss. Taste and sprinkle with more salt if needed and lots of pepper, then serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.