Caramelized Cauliflower with Oranges, Olives and Saffroned Cous Cous

Cauliflower makes me comfortable. If I see it a grocery store, I heave a sigh of relief: “I know what I can do with this,” I say to myself. The store manager eyes me warily.

Last time cauliflower made an appearance on the blog, I cooked it like a steak for a bunch of vegans. Well the leftover cauliflower florets from that dinner were sitting in a bowl in my fridge last week and inspiration struck again. Here’s what I did.

First, I cooked some cous cous in water but this time I added a pinch of saffron to the water before I added the cous cous. (This would’ve been better with chicken stock, but water worked fine.) Here’s the resulting saffroned cous cous:


As for the cauliflower florets, I just got a non-stick skillet really hot with a big splash of olive oil in it. When the olive oil was almost smoking, I added the florets. I let ’em brown for a second or two and then sprinkled ’em generously with salt:


While that was going, into a bowl I segmented an orange….


…and squeezed the remaining orange into the bowl to create an acidic base. To that I added a handful of pitted olives, thinly sliced half-moons of red onion, and whole parsley leaves. When the cauliflower finished browning all over and was completely cooked through, I added it to the bowl with the orange, olives, onion and parsley and also poured in some of the oil from the pan. I tossed that all around:


At this point I tasted, evaluated and decided it needed even more acid. So I added red wine vinegar, because that’s all I had, but I think a white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar or even Sherry vinegar would’ve been better. Whatever. The point is, pep this up with salt and vinegar until it tastes amazing and then serve it on top of the cous cous.

Look at that surprising, delightful, relatively healthy vegetarian dinner with leftovers from the previous week’s dinner party:


Not bad, eh? Cauliflower, you are my friend.

Let's dish!

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