roasted cauliflower with saffron, green olives & cranberries

in the latest of a series of decisions that suggest i should have an electric collar around my  neck that shocks me whenever i’m within a mile of an anthropologie store, i bought the book plenty by yotam ottolenghi (among other things).  ottolenghi is an israeli-born & raised chef & restaurant owner who now resides in london. when the gorgeous cover of his book (which is pretty enough to leave out on a coffee table) caught my eye, i immediately picked it up & paged through it.  the book is filled with lovely photos of food & packed with vegetable- & grain-based recipes.  ottolenghi points out that he is not a vegetarian, but the point of the book is that there are plenty of ways to incorporate vegetable dishes into your diet without missing fish & meat.  another thing i loved about this book? in the introduction, ottolenghi mentions that he was raised in israel and palestine. i love to see the palestinian state & people acknowledged; it’s a nice breath of fresh air from american media & even some american politicians, who would insist that palestinians don’t even exist.

last night i made his saffron cauliflower in an effort to be healthier since i’ve eaten terribly all week (hence the lack of updates on this here blog).  i don’t think i’d ever even made or eaten cauliflower before last night, but now i can safely say i’m a fan. i loved the contrast between sweet & salty caused by the olives & cranberries in this dish. i made a few changes to the recipe (used cranberries instead of raisins & did not cover the dish with foil while roasting or take it out to stir). it turned out fine, but i’ll provide you with the original recipe below.

P.S. i tweeted a picture of these salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars that i made last weekend & my followers went crazy, so here is the recipe. i’d suggest baking them in a square 8×8 pan instead of the larger one the recipe suggests because the recipe does not make enough to fill that large of a pan.

-1 1/2 tsp saffron
-1/3 cup boiling water
-1 medium cauliflower, divided into medium florets
-1 large red onion, sliced
-2/3 cup golden raisins (i used cranberries)
-1/2 cup good-quality green olives, pitted & cut lengthwise in half
-4 tbsp olive oil
-2 bay leaves
-salt & black pepper
-4 tbsp roughly chopped parsley

1) preheat oven to 400 degrees. meanwhile, place saffron strands in a small bowl & pour the boiling water over them. let sit for a minute to infuse.
2) transfer saffron & water into a large mixing bowl, adding remaining ingredients except for parsley & combining well with your hands.
3) transfer to a baking dish, cover with foil & roast for 40-45 minutes until “cauliflower is tender, but still a bit firm, not soft.”
4) halfway through cooking time, remove dish from oven, stir, cover & return to oven (i didn’t do this).
5) once cauliflower is cooked, remove from oven, remove foil & allow to cool slightly before stirring in parsley (i pretty much stirred the parsley in immediately because i was in a hurry. it was still good.).
6) adjust seasonings to taste & serve warm or at room temperature.

About Christina

Milwaukee-based bon vivant. Lover of food, yoga, design, good words & loving kindness.
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