Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Grilled cauliflower with tomato, dill and capers

Grilled cauliflower with tomato, dill and capers

I eat lots of vegetables, every day. I like almost any kind of veggies and enjoy having them in several different ways: raw in salads, boiled. steamed, roasted, sauted as a side dish, with pasta or rice or other grains, in soups, in quiches ... in short, I eat some kind of veggies at every single meal (except breakfast). For this reason I like to try and create always new recipes containing vegetables and also alternate during the week different varieties of seasonal products. Among all the vegetables I already know - in fact there are some that I have never tried or cooked by myself, because they are not farmed or available in Italy - I have some favorites, that I could eat every day (to name a few, tomato, green salad, broccoli, eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, and others). But cauliflower doesn't belong to this group. I can't say I don't like it (actually there are only few types of vegetables that I really don't like so far), but I find it a bit tough, so I do not prepare it very often.
But considering that cauliflower is in season (go to The Farmer Market on the Terrace for a fresh local, organic product) and that it contains many nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals) which are so important for our health and well-being, I try to include it in my rotation and prepare it in some appetizing way.
I recently made Grilled broccoli with chile and garlic from  "Ottolenghi The Cookbook" and I liked much the flavor added to the vegetable by the grilling treatment, so I wanted to try a recipe for cauliflower (from the same book) using the same cooking technique. And I did well. The boiled then grilled cauliflower, mixed with other flavorful ingredients in a unusual combination, was a good surprise: an healthy, tasty and seasonal side dish which goes particularly well with chicken or turkey dishes.

Grilled cauliflower with tomato, dill and capers

Grilled cauliflower with tomato, dill and capers
adapted from "Ottolenghi- The cookbook"
serves 2 to 4
2 tbsp capers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp French whole-grain mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used whole and removed before serving)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
120 ml olive oil (I use extra-virgin)
1 small cauliflower, divided into florets
1 tbsp chopped dill
50 g baby spinach leaves
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the dressing, either by hand or in a food processor. Mix together the capers, mustard, vinegar, garlic and some salt and pepper; whisk vigorously (or run the machine) while adding half of the olive oil in a slow trickle. You should get a thick and creamy dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Add the cauliflower florets to a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for just 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under a cold tap to stop the cooking immediately. Leave in the colander to dry well.
Once completely dry, place in a bowl with the remaining olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Place a ridged grill pan over a high heat and leave it until very hot. Grill the cauliflower in few batches - do not overcrowd the grill. Turn them around as they grill, then once nicely charred, transfer to a bowl. While the cauliflower is still hot, add the dressing, dill, spinach and tomatoes. Stir together then taste and adjust the seasoning. 
Serve warm or at room temperature. 
Grilled cauliflower with tomato, dill and capers


  1. One of my favourite cookbooks - lovely idea with cauliflower.

  2. Sally I agree with you, this book is an amazing source of inspiration! I consult it very often and I've already tried many recipes, all of them were a success ... And this is an original way to prepare cauliflower!