I really really try not to be, but sometimes I am a picker. You know, dinner is over, you are stuffed. And yet the remnants of the meal are beckoning to you. And so. You pick – find the bites with your fingers that are the most tempting.
Recently, I made a pasta that starred many of the things you see here. And it was good. But when all was said and done, I picked at the cauliflower. Ignored the pasta all together, nudged it aside, so I could get to the tangy, slightly sweet, savory, and spicy cauliflower. Clearly this vegetable needed star billing.
So, I made it. I sautéed garlic – more garlic than this somewhat garlic ambivalent person usually does. I added a full teaspoon – maybe more – of red pepper flakes. I added some chopped up caper berries because a dear friend bought me some for my birthday and a small handful of kalamata olives. I wanted raisins and I remembered that same friend gave me some pickled raisins (swoon!) and tossed a couple tablespoons of those. Acid was needed so in went half a can of crushed tomatoes. And, of course, the cauliflower.
My mom used to make steamed cauliflower when I was a kid. I ate it because she made me. This is not that cauliflower. Randy sometimes imagines he doesn’t like cauliflower. He loved this. You could certainly add pasta and have a knockout dish. But you don’t need it.
These raisins. I have to give some away. Maybe you are thinking – raisins? As a giveaway? Well, if you are a fan of things pickled, you will love having these in your pantry. They are a local treat, made by the good folks at the Boat Street Café. I will send two winners each a jar. Just tell me what you would do with them! Winner will be picked this Sunday.
UPDATE: Contest closed!
If you are not a big fan of spice, you can dial the red pepper way back here. I wanted to add toasted pine nuts to the finished dish, but I was out. I think they would be terrific here.
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tbsp. caper berries or capers, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
12 kalamata olives, halved
1 medium cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
½ cup dry white wine
3 tbsp. golden raisins
About ¾ cup canned crushed tomatoes
Generous ¼ cup of basil, julienned
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil, swirl it around, then add the garlic. Sauté, stirring constantly, and once it is golden, add the red pepper flakes, capers, and olives. Be careful that the garlic does not burn.
Add the cauliflower, give everything a good stir, then pour in the wine. Allow to cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the raisins and the tomatoes. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is fork tender – about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and serve warm.