I was minding my own business walking through the produce section, when I was blinded by these magnificent cauliflower luring me into finding a whole new way to do cauliflower. I found the basis for this recipe in the NYT Food section. I made some changes to suit and it came out quite tasty. This is not your moms “boiled to death” cauliflower!!
1 large cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
2 teaspoons black pepper, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
½ cup rice-wine vinegar
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons raw or light brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 bay leaves
1 Tbs Sriracha sauce
3 scallions, thinly sliced, for serving
Coarse ground pepper
- Trim leaves and woody stalk from the cauliflower, then cut head into 8 wedges. Season both sides of each wedge with salt and pepper. Reserve any loose cauliflower pieces.
- In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
- Place one layer of the wedges in the skillet cut-side down and cook without moving them until well browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and continue until all the cauliflower is seared, adding more oil as needed. Return all the cauliflower to the pan with uncooked side facing down.
- Add 1/4 cup water, any loose cauliflower pieces, 2 teaspoons black pepper, rice-wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, bay leaves and Sirracha. Stir gently to mix ingredients. Cover and let simmer over medium heat until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Cook, mixing and basting the cauliflower occasionally with the sauce, until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce has thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer cooked cauliflower to a bowl, spoon the sauce over the top and sprinkle sliced scallions over the dish and serve.