Seared Cauliflower with Anchovies

We have some delicious cauliflowers in Standard, large and extra large boxes this week. Personally I love cauli its one of my favourite veg. Its super versatile and depending on how you cook it will have a range of flavours and textures. This recipe is from the David Tanis book “Market Cooking”. I think this is a lovely book to accompany veg boxes because it talks about the different properties of different vegetables and herbs and how to cook with them instinctively. It is based on the idea of picking whats best and in season at the market which is basically what we get in our veg boxes.

I think the great thing about it is the pan searing of the cauliflower. For a while cauliflower steaks were all the rage and this is similar but quicker. The florets are cut into thinner pieces and seared on one side to caramelise and get chewy and delicious. You could use this technique and then add it to a curry or soup to give a more caramelised flavour or just add a totally different sauce. This recipe can also be adapted using different herbs and if you don’t have capers, use olives. It only takes about 10 minutes to make so good to throw in a pan the same time as a steak and dinner is done!

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

Half a large cauliflower

6 tbsp olive oil

2/3 anchovy fillets

1 small clove garlic

1 tbsp capers

Rind of 1 lemon

salt and a pinch of chilli flakes or black pepper

Herb – parsley & tarragon work especially well

Preparation: (takes 10 minutes)

Chop your cauliflower into pieces about 1cm thick. They are not going to be uniform thickness and that’s ok it gives a range of textures as thinner parts get very soft and contrast with the ticker parts which will still have a bite.

Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the cauliflower and season lightly with salt. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan or the cauli will start to steam. It should sear and start to brown. Cook it on this side for about 4-5 minutes, don’t move the pieces.

Meanwhile heat about 4 tbsp of olive oil very gently in a small saucepan. Finely chop and add the anchovy fillets. Let them heat through and start to melt into the oil, keep stirring them. Final thing is to throw in your chopped herbs

After a few minutes add the garlic and let that cook through, keep the heat low. Once the garlic is fragrant take the pan off the heat & while it is still warm quickly add the capers and grated rind of a lemon (you could add half and then taste to see if it needs more). Season with a little salt and chilli flakes. Mix it thoroughly & taste for seasoning

Once the cauliflower has been in the pan for about 4 minutes check a couple of pieces to make sure they are browned and softening. If so then turn them all over and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are a texture you want. I like them tender but with some bite not falling apart but it a personal taste thing!

Once the cauliflower is ready arrange the florets for serving and spoon the sauce over them. This should be eaten pretty quickly to retain the crispness on the outside of the vegetables.