Cauliflower gets a bad rap sometimes. It's definitely always the last vegetable left on a crudites platter, but that's lucky for me because I happen to love this cruciferous floret. I think a lot of people are just a touch puzzled when it comes to preparation and don't know the proper ways to work with it and coax out a truly indulgent flavor.
We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Padma Lakshmi! The host of Emmy-winning Top Chef, writer, and designer started Padma Lakshmi, a social networking site that celebrates our favorite topics, including food adventures, recipes, and party planning. She'll be dishing up goodies for us here on YumSugar monthly! Today, Padma shares a recipe for Sauteed Cauliflower With Anise and Cashews.
I have a delicious preparation that will leave everyone at the table gazing longingly at the empty serving bowl where the cauliflower once was.
In North India, in a dish called aloo gobi, it is made with potatoes and cumin. I've replaced the potatoes with cashews and the cumin with anise seeds; it's lighter without the potatoes, and the cashews give it a rich, nutty flavor that pairs well with the anise seeds. The long, dry red chilies give the dish a burst of red color that looks gorgeous on the plate.
This is a great side dish to add to your Thanksgiving Day feast. It's a surprising twist on a traditional vegetable that will add some intrigue to the line-up of usual suspects. Keep reading for the recipe.
Sauteed Cauliflower With Anise and Cashews
from "Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet"
2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon anise seeds
3 or 4 long dry red chilies
1 cup diced shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 1/4 pounds cauliflower, broken up into small florets
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cashews
1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the anise seeds and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Roughly break up the chilies, add them to the anise seeds, and stir. After 5 minutes, add the shallots, ginger, and cauliflower. Add 1/2 cup of water and the salt, and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the cashews, and cook for an additional 10 minutes or so uncovered, until all the moisture is gone, stirring occasionally. The cauliflower will reduce greatly in size, and should have some charred or brown bits at the edges. The cashews should also be toasted brown. Serve hot.
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