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Recipe: Pan-roasted cauliflower

This recipe, inspired by Suffolk-based cook Lola DeMille, balances vinegar with the sweetness of cauliflower, saffron and pine nuts

They do a lot of pan-roasting of vegetables in restaurant kitchens, and it’s a good technique to use at home too, says Anna Jones. You build up colour and texture in the pan, then blast the vegetables in the oven to cook them through. In this recipe, inspired by the brilliant Suffolk-based cook Lola DeMille, the vinegar is balanced by the sweetness of the cauliflower, saffron and pine nuts.

Serves 4

For the yoghurt

  • a small bunch of mint and/or parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp of thick Greek yoghurt or a yoghurt of your choice
  • salt and pepper
  • a drizzle of good olive oil

For the cauliflower

  • olive oil
  • 1 large cauliflower (about 800g), florets separated and stalks finely sliced
  • 50ml of white wine vinegar
  • a good pinch of saffron strands (or ½ a tsp of ground turmeric)
  • 50g of butter or vegan butter, cubed
  • a small bunch of parsley and/or coriander, roughly chopped

To serve

  • 150g pine nuts, toasted
  • a good pinch of sumac or Aleppo chilli
  • 4 flatbreads

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C. Mix the mint and/or parsley and yoghurt in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, stir in a splash of olive oil, then set aside.
  • Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, add a good glug of olive oil, then add the cauliflower in a single layer (you may need to cook it in a few batches).
  • Once all your cauliflower is browned on both sides (this will take about 10 minutes), put the lot back into the pan and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the stalks are soft and the florets crisp.
  • Remove the pan from the oven using an oven glove, then put it back on the hob over a medium heat, add the vinegar and saffron or turmeric then reduce the vinegar for about 2 minutes.
  • Take off the heat, add the butter, toss the cauliflower in it to create a thick and glossy sauce, then stir through most of the parsley and/or coriander.
  • Spoon the yoghurt into a shallow serving bowl and use the back of a spoon to swirl it over the bottom, then tumble the buttery cauliflower in. Finish with the last bit of parsley, the pine nuts and some sumac, and serve with flatbreads.
One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones

Taken from One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones, published by 4th Estate at £26. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £20.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk.

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