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Anchovies add salt to cauliflower

  • Braised cauliflower with anchovies and capers. AP

Associated Press
Published: 10/12/2016 8:57:41 AM

Any time capers mingle with anchovies and garlic, I’m happy. You might think these are strong flavors, but when used sparingly they add a lovely layer of salty/savory flavor to whatever dish they grace.

When I serve this to my family, do I mention that there are anchovies in it? Nope, I don’t. Do they think it’s delicious? Yup, they do.

The cauliflower is browned in the pan before it’s braised, and don’t cook it too long in the liquid or it will lose its great, firm texture. If you want a vegetarian version, do skip the anchovies and use vegetable broth.

I was making this for the second time when I realized I didn’t have fresh parsley, so I grabbed a bag of baby arugula from the fridge and it was a happy amendment. In fact, it made me realize that chopped arugula is a great alternative to chopped parsley on any number of dishes.

Braised Cauliflower with Anchovies and Capers

1 large head cauliflower

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

2 tablespoons capers, drained

Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 anchovies, rinsed and minced

Splash dry white wine

1 cup less-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

½ cup flat-leaf parsley or 1 cup baby arugula leaves, roughly chopped (optional)

Cut the cauliflower into small florets.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally until it starts to lightly brown in some spots. Shove the cauliflower to one side and add the garlic, capers, and anchovies so that they hit the bottom of the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Stir into the olive oil until the garlic turns golden and you can smell everything. Stir the mixture into the cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper, so the anchovy mixture coats the vegetables.

Pour in the wine and give everything a stir. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, and reduce the heat so the liquid remains at a simmer. Cook until the cauliflower is just tender but not mushy, from 8 to 10 minutes. If there is more than ½ cup liquid left, remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and simmer the remaining liquid until there is less than ½ cup, then pour it over the cauliflower. Stir in or sprinkle over the parsley or arugula (if using).

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