Purple cauliflower is pretty much punk as far as the crazy colored vegetables go. Purple beans turn a disappointing gray-green when cooked, purple carrots are only purple-skinned carrots and are kinda bitter if you leave the skin on…so they look like normal carrots when peeled, striped chiogga beets lose their stripes when roasted….but not the purple cauliflower. It’s got enough guts to keep its color through the rough times on the stove.
This is my favorite way to serve it up, I’ve given myself a bellyache from nibbling too much of it! The recipe works just fine with regular cauliflower, it’s just not as cool.
This is adapted from my favorite winter-time cookbook “All About Braising” by Molly Stevens. Braising is wonderfully easy to adapt to be egg and dairy-free, so we do a lot of it now. Warning, this cookbook is very expensive...the book is pretty cheap…but the Staub pot it begs for…not so cheap.
Braised Purple Cauliflower
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (Cold Oven White Bread works great)
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2–3 T olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
- 2 T. capers
- 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper
- Toast the breadcrumbs in a 325 degree oven until lightly crunchy, about 15 minutes, set aside.
- Trim the cauliflower into bite-sized florets (1 inch), discarding the thick stems.
- Heat the oil to medium-high in a large skillet, add the cauliflower and saute until it has some nice browned spots, stirring frequently.
- Pour in the stock, scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 or so minutes until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife. Check every so often to make sure the liquid hasn’t evaporated, if so, add a bit more.
- When the cauliflower is tender, remove the lid, turn up to high to boil off the remaining liquid. Add the capers, a good squeeze of lemon juice and the bread crumbs. Salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately.
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