This dish is inspired by Yottam Ottolenghi and my friend Errieda sparked my interest in using cauliflower when she posted a cauliflower dish with hazelnuts on her instagram feed.
It is based on the Cauliflower with Saffron found in Ottolenghi’s book Plenty. It’s very, very simple to make and adds flavour to these cruciferous veggies with the aroma of saffron, the sweetness of raisins and the saltiness of briny olives. The red onions will darken with baking.
I love mixing the white cauliflower with the threads of orange-staining saffron, the dark olives, raisins and onions. A very different visual and far more interesting than cauliflower with cheese sauce. I added broccoli as well. Serve with rice as a meal on it’s own or as a side dish with roasted chicken or lamb.
400 g cauliflower and broccoli florets, mixed
1/2 t saffron threads, soaked in 150 ml hot water
3 T raisins of your choice, soaked in same water with saffron.
1 medium red onion, sliced into rings
4 T black olives in brine, pitted and sliced if you wish
4 small bay leaves
salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and transfer to a lightly greased baking pan. Cover with foil and make a little gash in centre with a sharp knife.
2. Bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove foil and cook for a further 5 minutes. Liquid should be absorbed and the cauliflower and broccoli soft but not mushy. The original recipe suggests baking for 40 minutes – this would be far too long in my oven. Adjust according to your own oven’s quirks.