I really like Cauliflower. I know it’s not everybody’s thing but I like it in pretty much every format–pizza crust, mashed, riced, raw, roasted. You get the point. So when I saw this recipe for Saffron Cauliflower in Ottolenghi’s amazing cookbook Plenty, which Kitchn’s Cookbook Club featured in January, I jumped right on it.
By the way, if you haven’t joined Kitchn’s Facebook Cookbook Club yet, you should! It’s a great way to explore new cookbooks, new recipes, new flavors and new friends, all from the safety of your home kitchen. It makes trying new recipes so much better when you can compare notes with others.
This cookbook is amazing if you want to amp up your veggie game!
But I digress. Back to the Saffron Cauliflower. It definitely did not disappoint with its subtle saffron, hearty cauliflower, salty olives, sweet cherries, tender onions and lightly crunchy pumpkin seeds. It just works! One dish meal and it’s vegan and it’s delicious even at room temperature? Yes please! It has become a staple on my menu as a main dish when I am craving a plate of roasted veggies. Although the original recipe is perfect as is, I have played around with it a bit on the recipe below and substituted dried cherries for the sultans and finished off with maple-roasted pumpkin seeds on top for crunch. In fact, I have even quartered a couple of red potatoes and added them in when I felt like I wanted something a little heavier. It’s light enough to serve as a side dish and hearty enough to stand in as a main dish, especially if you add in the potatoes. Either way, you really can’t go wrong with this one!
- 2 tsp saffron strands
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 medium cauliflower, divided into medium florets
- 1 red onion, large
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/2 cup green olives, Castelvetrano if available
- 3 small red potatoes (optional), quartered
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 Bay Leaves
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 4 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the saffron strands in a small bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave to infuse for a few minutes.
- Pour saffron/water mixture into large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients (minus parsley and pumpkin seeds) and mix everything together with your hands.
- Transfer mix to medium ovenproof dish, cover with foil and place in oven. Cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Once the cauliflower is cooked, take it out of the oven, remove the foil and allow to cool down slightly before stirring in chopped parsley and pumpkin seeds. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.