Cauliflower poached in a winey, punchy broth, then roasted — whole — results in a brown and crackly masterpiece. Topped with a creamy, tangy sauce.
- 1 head cauliflower, whole, stem trimmed and leaves removed
- 2 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- Coarse sea salt (for serving)
- Heat oven to 475° F. Bring wine, oil, salt, lemon juice, butter, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leaf, and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot.
- Remove leaves and cut out the center core to create a flat surface for cauliflower to balance, making sure to leave the head intact.
- Carefully lower in cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Using 2 slotted spoons or a mesh strainer or spider, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, draining well.
- Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until brown all over, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Transfer cauliflower to a plate. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with whipped goat cheese (recipe below).
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 3 ounces feta cheese
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
- Blend goat cheese, cream cheese, feta, cream, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until smooth; season with sea salt.
- Transfer whipped goat cheese to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
- Note: Whipped goat cheese can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
Panch phoran (also spelled panch phoron and panch puran) is a Bengali blend of five spices– fenugreek, mustard, kalonji (nigella), fennel, and cumin, in equal amounts. (In Bengal, radhuni would be used instead of mustard, but it’s not available in the U.S.) You can buy this spice blend in Indian grocery stores or you can make it yourself.
If you want a more assertive panch phoran taste, grind an additional 1/2 tablespoon of it and add it during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- 1 1/2 cups masoor dal or red lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon canola oil (or canola oil spray)
- 1 tablespoon panch phoran
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste (or 1 tsp. minced ginger)
- 16 ounces diced tomatoes (or 1 can)
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets)
- 1/2 cup water
- Pick over and rinse the lentils and add them to a pot with the water and turmeric. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the dal is tender, about 20 to 35 minutes. When done, add salt and set aside.
- While the dal is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Heat a large, deep skillet, preferably non-stick. When hot, add the canola oil and shake it to spread it around. Add the panch phoran and stir. (You may instead use oil spray; spray before and after adding the panch phoran.) When the first seed pops, immediately add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes, and ginger paste. Stir and cook until the onion softens, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cauliflower, and water, and stir. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes.
- When the dal and cauliflower are both done, add the dal to the cauliflower mixture. Stir well, and check seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve hot, over rice if desired.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 55 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6