Food & Drink - - FEATURES -

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

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