There is something to be said for simplicity. Actually, there is a lot to be said for simplicity… and a really hot pan. Cauliflower is the perfect, blank canvas of the vegetable world. On it’s own, it’s fairly bland and boring. Make a cream soup out of it with some truffle oil and lemon zest, it becomes a totally different animal. One of the things I just started doing is cooking cauliflower in a crazy hot skillet. The carmelization and char is amazing and really hard to replicate in an oven. Grill a lemon in the same pan, add some capers, some good olive oil and copious amounts of salt and pepper and you have the makings of one seriously addictive side dish.
Skillet Cauliflower with Grilled Lemon and Capers
- 1 medium to large head of cauliflower
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Break the head of cauliflower down into smallish florets. Meanwhile, heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat.
- Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, let it heat to almost smoking. Toss in the cauliflower. Let it char and resist the urge to flip or stir frequently. Saute for 5-7 minutes.
- After browning the cauliflower, push it to the side of the pan, add the two lemon halves, cut side down. Sear them for 1-2 minutes. The grilled lemon takes on a totally new, mellow flavor when grilled.
- Remove the lemon and set aside. Add another squirt of olive to the pan, toss in the garlic and capers and fry them up with the cauliflower for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat, plate and squeeze the grilled lemon on top. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy.