The Food52 website recently started a couple of cookbook clubs.....one for baking and another for cooking. This month's cooking selection is any book by Yotam Ottolenghi. I have four out of his five books and have frequently cooked from them, but they'd been gathering a little dust, so when they were selected, I decided to knock off that dust and revisit them.
His books are vegetarian....which is interesting because he says he's not one. Neither am I but we try to eat vegetarian during the week. We often only achieve pescetarian (hey Annie!), but it's an effort, at least!
These books are great for summer....tons of ideas for fresh bright sides and salads along with grains, legumes, pasta, etc. I highly recommend.
This particular dish could be either. It's hearty enough to stand alone for dinner but also makes a great side. It was a Saturday night dinner party over Memorial Day weekend when I served this and it was fabulous with some grilled ribeyes and a big fruit platter.
Full disclosure.....I couldn't find my vegetable grill pan, so I pan roasted the cauliflower. Shoot me. The dressing and dill in this is scrumptious. Make sure you dress the cauliflower right out of the oven (or off the grill, if you're a rule follower) so that it really soaks into the veg. Toss it with the rest of the ingredients and add more dressing to your liking. I don't love a heavily dressed salad, so I served the leftover dressing on the side and everyone added to their taste.
Here's the recipe:
Grilled Cauliflower with Tomato, Dill, and Capers
Ottolenghi, The Cookbook
(I doubled this as I was serving a crowd.....and maybe wanted leftovers!)
2 tbsp capers, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp French whole-grain mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small cauliflower, divided into florets
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 2/3 cups baby spinach leaves
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
First make the dressing, either by hand or in a food processor (I used my Vitamix). Mix together the capers, mustard, garlic, vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously or run the machine while adding half the oil in a slow trickle. You should get a thick, creamy dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Add the cauliflower florets to a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 3 minutes only, Drain in a colander and run under a cold tap to stop the cooking immediately. Leave in the colander to dry well. Once dry, place in a mixing bowl with the remaining olive oil and some salt and pepper. Toss well. (I skipped this step and spread the florets in a single layer on a sheet pan and roasted at 400 degrees until charred and tender.)
Place a ridged grill pan over the highest possible heat and leave it for 5 minutes, until very hot. Grill the cauliflower in a few batches - make sure the florets are not cramped. Turn them around as they grill, then once nicely charred, transfer to a bowl. While the cauliflower is still hot, add the dressing, dill, spinach, and tomatoes. Stir together well, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve warm or at room temperature, adjusting the seasoning again at the last minute.
Here are a few other recipes from the books that I've posted in the past.....
This safron pasta in a decadent butter sauce is amazing.
Another cauliflower offering.....in cake form! Delicious and makes an impressive presentation!
The group is cooking from these books through the month of June, so I've got my eye on a few more recipes to try......pistachio shortbread cookies because I lurve anything pistachio, a ton of tomato salads because the farmer's market tomatoes are here, and a salmon and asparagus bruschetta that was posted on the facebook page that I think would be perfect for my mama's mahjong group!