Photo: Bond Huberman
Marcie Sillman and Bond Huberman of KUOW’s The Record visited my kitchen to talk cauliflower (and anchovies). Here’s the video Bond made. We cooked up a Sicilian inspired cauliflower dish, and the key to its depth of flavor is anchovies, one of my favorite ingredients for healthy cooking. Like their terrestrial counterpart bacon, anchovies lend untold depth to seemingly pedestrian foods–because they’re so rich in umami flavor. Admittedly, they pack a fair dose of salt too, but you can ease up on the rest of salt in your meal if you use them. What’s more, unlike bacon, the fat they pack is full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, so as you double the deliciousness of, say a pan of caramelized cauliflower, you’re also easing up your weekly intake of healthy fish oils. Anything that makes healthy food even more delicious is a great addition to the pantry.
Photos and Video Bond Huberman
A couple rules about buying anchovies: it’s worth it to spend a bit more on them–imported beauties like Scalia and Ortiz are just more succulent than the supermarket staples. And yes, salt packed anchovies are delicious, but they require and extra step of soaking and rinsing. I use both high-quality oil-packed fillets and salt-packed.
While Bond and Marcie were around, I also showed how easy it is to make an anchovy dressing for wintry greens like frisee or escarole: recipe below!
Cauliflower with anchovies, raisins and pine nuts
This Sicilian-inspired cauliflower dish is develops
incredible flavor from long, slow stovetop cooking with almost no added liquid.
You can serve it as a side dish to chicken or fish, or use it as a topper for
bruschetta or pasta.
¼ c golden raisins
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. warm water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 dried chilies de arbol or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 sprig rosemary
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 head cauliflower, cored and sliced into ¼ inch slices
Salt and pinch of red pepper to taste
Lemon juice, optional
2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the balsamic vinegar
and warm water.
Heat the oil in a
large skillet. Add in garlic slices, chilies, rosemary, anchovies, and fennel and stir
until fragrant (about 15 seconds). Add in the cauliflower and cook, stirring
occasionally, until the cauliflower is amber-brown and completely tender, about
30 minutes. Towards the end of cooking,
taste and season generously with salt and a pinch of mildly hot red pepper
flakes (Aleppo pepper, marash pepper). Pour in the raisins with their soaking
liquid, and cook until the extra liquid has evaporated. Taste once again and
adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, or a squeeze of lemon. Top with toasted pine nuts.
Frisee salad with anchovy dressing
In Rome, the green chicory plant called Puntarella is
traditionally dressed with a punchy anchovy dressing. Since it’s hard to find
in the states, I’ve traded it for frisee, though other chicories like radicchio
or escarole would also taste good in this salad. You can serve the salad cold,
but it’s even more aromatic if you warm
the dressing and the greens in a bowl set over a pot of simmering
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 fillets anchovy, roughly chopped
½ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Frisee trimmed, and washed
Grapes, cut in half, and seeded if necessary (optional)
In a jar, let the garlic macerate in the red wine vinegar
for 10-15 minutes. Add in the anchovy, olive oil, salt and pepper, and whisk or
shake until well combined.
Dress the greens with the salad dressing. To prepare a warm
salad, bring a saucepan filled ¼ full with water to a simmer. Place a metal
bowl on the saucepan, making sure it doesn’t touch the water. Toss the salad and dressing with tongs until the anchovies and garlic are fragrant, and the greens are glossy, but not
Taste and season with more salt and/or pepper if desired.
Top salad with grapes.