Orange Cauliflower

Photo: Carina Salvi

If cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education, as Mark Twain once said, then is orange cauliflower just cabbage that went down to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break and came back with a funny tan? Well, maybe, but cheery good looks aside, this George Hamilton of the Cruciferae family has about 25 times more vitamin A than the plain old white variety, not to mention a sweeter flavor. Nevia No of Yuno’s Farms (at the Greenmarket) says she can’t give the things away in veggie-conservative New Jersey where she grows them. New Yorkers, though—including Barbuto’s Jonathan Waxman, from whom the following recipe comes—go gaga over them.

Jonathan Waxman’s Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Anchovy
2 small heads orange cauliflower (white or purple will do in a pinch)
2 cloves garlic, peeled, cored, and crushed
6 anchovy fillets
1/2 cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Illustration by John Burgoyne

Preheat oven to 425. Wash, dry, and
(1) cut the leaves away from the cauliflower.
(2) Detach the stem by making a cone-shaped incision into the bottom of the cauliflower, and
(3) pull away into large florets, then cut into bite-size pieces. Using a mortar and pestle, mash garlic and anchovies with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, adding lemon juice to taste. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Add cauliflower, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for two minutes, then pan-roast in oven until golden brown for approximately ten minutes. Add 1/4 cup cold water, lower heat to 350, and continue cooking for 30 minutes, turning florets occasionally until brown and tender. Remove from oven, place on a large platter, and drizzle with anchovy sauce. Serves four.

Orange Cauliflower