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
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.