ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WEDGES WITH FIGS, OLIVES AND PINE NUTS
Roasting cauliflower wedges in a blazingly hot oven is a method developed by J. Kenji López-Alt in his excellent book The Food Lab (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2015). Here they’re punched up with sweet figs, briny olives and a sharp vinaigrette. To toast pine nuts, cook them in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes.
¼ tsp (1 mL) finely grated garlic
1½ tsp (7 mL) Dijon mustard
3 tbsp (45 mL) sherry vinegar
½ cup (125 mL) extra virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 large head cauliflower, about 3 lbs (1.5 kg) untrimmed
3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 3 large ripe fresh figs, cut into small chunks 12 pitted green olives, chopped
3 tbsp (45 mL) pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 orange
1 For the sherry vinaigrette, place garlic and Dijon in a mixing bowl. Whisk in vinegar. Slowly whisk in oil to form emulsified dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an airtight container. (Dressing will keep in fridge up to 5 days. Shake before using.)
2 Place a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven and preheat to 500°F (260°F). Put the range hood fan on high.
3 Trim and discard cauliflower leaves. Carefully cut cauliflower in half, making sure to run evenly through the core. Cut each half into 4 even wedges, starting at the core for each cut. Place on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
4 When the oven is ready, remove the heated baking tray. Transfer cauliflower wedges to tray. Roast until tender and nicely browned, about 10 minutes per side. (Use a wide spatula and tongs to carefully flip them.)
5 Arrange the 6 nicest wedges on 6 salad plates. (Save the other 2 for another use.) Drizzle cauliflower generously with dressing. Sprinkle figs, olives, pine nuts and parsley over cauliflower. Using a rasp, finely grate a little orange zest over each plate.
Serves 6 as an appetizer