Roasted Cauliflower with Goji, Capers, Anchovy Dressing
Anchovy dressing is what makes this simply roasted cauliflower dish a super delicious one. Anchovy paste or individually packed anchovies are a staple in my pantry. I have them on hand at all times, in all sorts of packaging. If you aren't familiar with its taste, it is intensely savory with a briny finish. It amplifies the flavors of my tomato-based pasta sauces, adds an oomph to Caesar and Nicoise salads' dressings, or is great paired with steak. You can also have the anchovies on their own by serving whole tiny fish placed on top of a crispy bruschetta with diced tomatoes, capers and olive oil. I brighten my dressing with lemon zest and an addition of white wine vinegar, minced garlic and for an extra kick - mildly spicy red pepper. A simply roasted cauliflower became a perfect canvas for the dressing. Originally my recipe included some tender golden raisins soaked in water (to plump them up), but as it turns out, my little munchkin, Vivian, ate all of the raisins on the day of the photo shoot. She loves her dried fruit and nuts as a snack, so I used a great alternative - mildly sweet goji berries. With their coral-like hue, they add a beautiful pop of color to the dish along with a soft, almost sponge-like texture, after soaking them in hot water for 5 minutes. Capers are my other pantry staple that I can't live without. Tiny briny capers are capable of accentuating so many of my recipes and making them even more special. Building a salad or any dish, actually, is like layering clothing, the more contrast and texture you'll introduce to the dish, the tastier it will be. Panko breadcrumbs are another marvel that I always keep on hand in my freezer (yes, keep it there, otherwise, they'll taste stale). I slightly toast these breadcrumbs with olive oil in a hot pan. To serve, drizzle roasted cauliflower florets with anchovy dressing, add goji berries, capers, breadcrumbs and parsley, mixing everything gently to combine. Make sure the cauliflower is well coated in the dressing. Serve sprinkled with extra salt, only if needed. I like to finish any dish with large flaky sea salt and red Aleppo pepper. Best enjoyed with a glass of crisp white wine! :)
Ingredients: cauliflower (green, purple, yellow or white variety), anchovy paste, lemon, garlic, parsley, goji berries, panko breadcrumbs, mildly spicy red pepper (Marash, Aleppo), salt, extra-virgin olive oil.
Break cauliflower into tiny florets. I use my fingers but it can be done with a small pairing knife as well.
Spread florets onto a baking sheet, making sure there is enough space between florets to promote crispy results. If you overcrowd baking sheet, cauliflower will steam instead of browning.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Season generously with salt.
Season with mildly spicy red pepper.
Bake at 425F for about 15 minutes or until desired doneness. I like my cauliflower browned with a little crunch.
Transfer into a medium size bowl.
To make the dressing, measure one tablespoon of anchovy paste and add it to a small bowl. Add one tablespoon of white wine vinegar and 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil.
Whisk until well emulsified.
Add lemon zest to brighten the dressing.
Season with a pinch of mildly spicy red pepper.
Add minced garlic. Whisk everything to combine.
To toast breadcrumbs, I like to use panko, large flakes of white bread that become so deliciously crispy when toasted in the pan with a little oil. I often add these breadcrumbs to my salads for a crunch.
Spoon two tablespoons of the dressing over roasted cauliflower, add goji berries (pre-soaked in warm water) and half of breadcrumbs.
If you like some heat, add finely diced red jalapeño pepper.
And lastly, herbs, I like parsley for this recipe. Mix gently to combine.
Taste cauliflower and adjust the seasoning if needed or spoon extra dressing on top. Sprinkle extra breadcrumbs, pinch of pepper and serve while still warm or room temperature.
Roasted Cauliflower with Goji, Capers, Anchovy Dressing
recipe detailsServes 2
IngredientsFor the cauliflower
- 1/4 cup purple cauliflower, tiny florets
- 1/4 cup yellow cauliflower, tiny florets
- 1/4 cup green cauliflower, tiny florets
- sea salt, to taste
- Aleppo pepper, to taste
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, zested
- pinch of pepper (Aleppo, Marash)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/8 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon goji berries, soaked in hot water
- 2 teaspoons capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red jalapeño, finely diced
- Bake cauliflower: Spread florets onto a baking sheet, making sure there is enough space between florets to promote crispy results. Drizzle with olive oil, season generously with salt and mildly spicy red pepper. Bake at 425F for about 15 minutes or until desired doneness. Transfer into a medium size bowl. Kitchen tip: If you overcrowd baking sheet, cauliflower will steam instead of browning.
- Make the dressing: Squeeze out anchovy paste and add it to a small bowl. Pour vinegar and olive oil, whisk vigorously until well emulsified. Add lemon zest to brighten the dressing and garlic. Season with a pinch of mildly spicy red pepper. Whisk everything to combine again.
- Toast breadcrumbs: Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat; add a dash of oil and breadcrumbs. Toast for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden. Transfer to a plate or container.
- To serve, spoon 2 tablespoons of the dressing over roasted cauliflower, add goji berries (pre-soaked in warm water, drained), capers and half of breadcrumbs. If you like some heat, add finely diced jalapeño pepper. And lastly, parsley, mix everything gently to combine. Taste cauliflower and adjust the seasoning if needed or spoon extra dressing on top. Sprinkle the rest of breadcrumbs and pinch of Aleppo pepper over the cauliflower, serve while still warm.