Roast Cauliflower with Burrata & Salsa Verde

Thursday, June 22, 2017 0
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cauliflower
What I decide to cook on any given weeknight directly correlates with how the hours between 5 and 8pm have been spent. The evening ritual of getting two small children fed, bathed, and happily off to sleep can range from blissful bonding time to child-wrangling screamathon. Many old London homes are tall and narrow and there are times when I’m hauling an unequally weighted duo of 32kgs (that’s over 70 pounds!) up 39 steps from ground floor kitchen to top floor bathroom. Parenting experts need not apply – this is often my safest option.
 
Whatever the origin of our stress, there are times when the very last thing we feel like doing after an exasperating day is fixing dinner, and sometimes when things have been particularly screamy I end up in bed with a cup of tea and a biscuit. Digestive biscuits saw me through the hospital stay when I had my daughter so I’m particularly fond of those.

A couple weeks ago, when I’d exhausted my supply of McVitie’s, I pulled a whole head of cauliflower, burrata and parsley out the fridge and assembled a quick and incredibly satisfying diner, which I’ve made four times since. The speediest green salsa is chopped up while cauliflower roasts to tender crisp in a hot oven and then combined with cold and creamy burrata.

parsley
Roast Cauliflower with Burrata & Salsa Verde
Roast Cauliflower with Burrata & Salsa Verde
parsley-capers-salsa-verda
salsa-verde

Salsa Verde just means green salsa. Traditional ingredients include parsley, capers, anchovies, garlic, oil and vinegar. My simplified version omits both the anchovies and garlic, but includes a couple spring onions which you soak briefly in vinegar to take the sting off. Toasted pumpkin seeds provide contrasting crunch, but you can leave them out or use pine nuts or almonds instead. Burrata is very similar to fresh mozzarella but texture wise it has the edge. It’s also made from cow’s or buffalo’s milk but its center oozes with cream when you cut into it.

cauliflower
roast-cauliflower
roasted-cauliflower

If I were eating this alone I’d have the whole cauliflower and burrata to myself but this quantity would serve two as a side dish. The recipe I’ve given for salsa verde is enough for 2 whole heads of cauliflower, but if you’re eating alone or sharing this as a side dish for 2, the salsa will keep in the fridge for a few days and is great with scrambled eggs.

cauliflower-burrata-salsa-verde

Recipe

 

Ingredients

For roasting the cauliflower –

1 – 2 heads cauliflower

About 3 tablespoons olive oil (or another mild oil you like) – you need just over one tablespoon per head of cauliflower

1 teaspoon sea salt, or half a teaspoon table salt

a few twists ground pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon)

For the Salsa Verde

Parsley – 2 cups before chopping (about 50g)

2 spring onions/scallions

2 heaped tablespoons capers

Red wine vinegar – 3 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt, or half a teaspoon table salt

1 ball of burrata per person (buffalo mozzarella is next best)

Tip: Keep the burrata in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it or it will deflate into a pool of cream.

Method

1. Heat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF and line one large, or two smaller baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Cut the cauliflower into florets and toss them with the oil + salt & pepper. Roast them at this fast, hot heat for 15 minutes until the centers are tender and the edges are beginning to crisp. Remove the cauliflower to a plate once it comes out of the oven.

3. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the salsa verde –

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat, turning often, until they become fragrant and begin to pop. Remove to a plate to cool.

Chop the onions and soak them in the 3 tablespoons vinegar while you chop the other salsa ingredients

4. Finely chop the parsley and capers. Drain the onions and add them to a bowl with the parsley and capers. Add oil, the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, and salt and mix it all together.

The cauliflower is nicest served warm against the cool burrata, drizzled with the salsa and sprinkled with the pumpkin seeds.

 

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