April 8, 2012

Cavolfiore Soffocato - Smothered Cauliflower

This is a stripped down version of a great recipe from the Mediterranean Vegetables  cookbook. Roasting cauliflower in a sealed pan sweats the vegetable to release its own moisture and cook without additional water for a great texture. This simple version  calls for just two ingredients: cauliflower and oil. It is a particularly easy vegetable side dish for a dinner with roasted meat, when you'll already have the oven on anyway. This cauliflower also keeps well and can be served the next day at room temperature drizzled with a little more oil.

Cavolfiore Soffocato

1 head cauliflower. Trim and cut into 6 wedges.
Toss in a large baking dish with 1/4 Cup olive oil.
Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil so the steam can't escape.
Bake at 350 until tender, about 1 hour.

Note: The original recipe called for tossing the cauliflower a second time with a pinch of salt and the crushed threads of a pinch of saffron, which gives the vegetable a lovely flavor. It also called for tucking 10 or so green pitted olives in with the cauliflower before roasting. That is a tasty preparation, and one you should try. But my family also likes the smothered cauliflower plain, so don't avoid this recipe just because you don't have saffron on hand or aren't a fan of cooked green olives.

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