Any time capers mingle with anchovies and garlic, I’m happy. You might think these are very strong flavors, but when they are used sparingly they add a lovely layer of salty/savory flavor to whatever dish they grace.
When I serve this to my family, do I mention that there are anchovies in it? Nope, I don’t. Do they think it’s delicious? Yup, they do.
The cauliflower is browned in the pan before it’s braised, and don’t cook it too long in the liquid or it will lose its great, firm texture. If you want a vegetarian version, do skip the anchovies and use vegetable broth.
I was making this for the second time when I realized I didn’t have fresh parsley, so I grabbed a bag of baby arugula from the fridge and it was a happy amendment. In fact, it made me realize that chopped arugula is a great alternative to chopped parsley on any number of dishes, offering a different slightly bitter and bracing green note. I’ll be keeping arugula on hand for just this purpose.
BRAISED CAULIFLOWER WITH ANCHOVIES AND CAPERS
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8
1 large head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons capers, drained
Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 anchovies, rinsed and minced
Splash dry white wine
1 cup less-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
½ cup flat-leaf parsley or 1 cup baby arugula leaves, roughly chopped (optional)
Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy stockpot over medium high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally until it starts to lightly brown in some spots. Shove the cauliflower to one side and add the garlic, capers, and anchovies so that they hit the bottom of the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Stir into the olive oil until the garlic turns golden and you can smell everything. Stir the mixture into the cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper, so the anchovy mixture coats the vegetables.
Pour in the wine and give everything a stir. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, and reduce the heat so the liquid remains at a simmer. Cook until the cauliflower is just tender but not mushy, from 8 to 10 minutes. If there is more than ½ cup liquid left, remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and simmer the remaining liquid until there is less than ½ cup, then pour it over the cauliflower. Stir in or sprinkle over the parsley or arugula (if using). Serve hot or warm.
Nutrition information per serving: 84 calories; 43 calories from fat; 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 2 mg cholesterol; 255 mg sodium; 7 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 4 g protein.
Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, “Dinner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cookbook.” She blogs at http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman/