There was a head of cauliflower in my refrigerator for the last few days, staring at me reproachfully every time I opened the door. What to do? Here’s what to do: I turned to my favorite vegetable chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, and adapted this recipe from his first cookbook, Ottolenghi. I grilled the cauliflower (but it would be just fine roasted), omitted the dill (because I hate dill unless it’s in my mother’s chicken soup), added parsley, and – for the pièce de résistance – some Peruvian peppers I happened upon at the olive bar at Whole Foods. I bought them because they were so beautiful, but I discovered they’re also wonderfully flavorful without being hot. They’re delicious jewelry for vegetable dishes.
Grilled Cauliflower with Mustard. Capers, & Peruvian Peppers
1 head of cauliflower, divided into large florets or thick slices
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups baby spinach leaves (which I forgot to include in the photograph. Oops).
1 cup Peruvian or other small, marinated peppers. Alternatively, use 1 cup of cherry tomatoes.
For the Dressing:
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp capers (about half a 2-ounce bottle), drained
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard (or Dijon)
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp parsley (plus more for garnish later on)
Preheat grill on medium-low (or preheat oven to 425 degrees).
Toss the cauliflower florets with the 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
Place florets in a single layer on the grill or in a baking pan.
Grill or roast, turning every 5-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is the tenderness you like (the amount of time will probably be 15-20 minutes, depending on your grill and the size of the florets).
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: With the motor of the food processor running, add the garlic, and process until it’s done mincing. Then add the rest of the dressing ingredients, and process the mixture as smoothly as you like.
Place the spinach leaves on the platter. Top with the cooked cauliflower. Drizzle on the dressing. Scatter the tomatoes or peppers. Garnish, if you like, with parsley. You can also drain the rest of the bottle of capers and sprinkle the whole capers on top.
Serve warm or room temperature.