At the end of December I ate at Acme with my family, and we had a dish called Pot Roasted Cauliflower. I will write about that meal over at Eat to Blog soon, but the dish wasn’t what I was expecting. It did start me thinking, though, what if you cooked cauliflower like a pot roast? I’ve been eating a lot of cauliflower at restaurants lately, and it seems to me that cauliflower is due for a “moment” here in NYC, the same way Brussels sprouts had one a year or two ago. So here’s what I did with a whole head of cauliflower.
In a large pot I heated up some olive oil, then browned the cauliflower head. Have you ever tried this? It’s kind of tricky. I added the cauliflower upside down, and let it brown on the top, then tried using tongs to flip it. It was kind of difficult, but I managed it eventually. I also seasoned the cauliflower as I turned it. Then I removed the browned the cauliflower and added a little more oil. Then I browned big chunks of carrot, celery, parsnip, and celery root, seasoning them as well. Then I added the cauliflower back into the pan, this time right side up. I added a small can of tomatoes, about a cup of white wine, and then enough water to come up to almost the top of the cauliflower. I added more salt and pepper, covered the pot, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Then I served the result (to myself) over rice.
After so much cooking the cauliflower melted in my mouth, but it hadn’t absorbed as much flavor as I would have liked. The vegetables and broth were all pretty good, and it’s not as if the cauliflower was bad, it just didn’t have the depth of flavor I would have liked. I haven’t given up on cauliflower pot roast yet, though. I’ll crack the code eventually.