Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Slow-Roasted Cauliflower with Pounded Anchovies


In my household, we love everything that has some sort of seafood in it so when I found Brett's recipe I was delighted. The cauliflower's intense flavor is amazing and matches perfectly with the anchovie sauce. I have made it so many times now that I even take the liberty to skip salt from sauce and change it a little here and there, like this time, for instance, when I completely forgot the bread topping. Sorry, Brett.

Slow-Roasted Cauliflower with Pounded Anchovies

For the cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower
Extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper
Sea salt
Parsley, chopped

For the breadcrumbs:
1 slice country bread, crusts removed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

For the anchovy sauce
¼ clove of garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
2 anchovy fillets
3 TB extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350˚F (175˚C). Remove green leaves from cauliflower. Place head of cauliflower stem side down on a cutting board and slice it into ¾-inch (2 cm) thick slices through the stem and all. Toss cauliflower slices in a bowl with the oil and generous amounts of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Lay out in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place pan in oven and bake for 1 hour, turning the pieces every 10 minutes. The cauliflower will turn deep golden brown, become extremely tender and fall apart easily. It might appear ready after 40 minutes, but it's better to wait. Some smaller bits will turn dark brown and crispy. Do not discard them. While the cauliflower is roasting, tear the bread into tiny pieces. Place in shallow pan and drizzle with the oil. Place it in oven next to cauliflower. Bake until toasted and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Make the anchovy sauce. Mash the piece of garlic with a pestle in a mortar or something like that. Pour lemon juice over it and let sit for 10 minutes. Chop the anchovy fillets, add them to the mortar and pound to a paste. Drizzle in the olive oil while stirring with the pestle until a thick, pourable sauce is formed. Drizzle over the cauliflower, sprinkle with chopped parsley and breadcrumbs, and serve, either warm or at room temperature.