By Garry Nordenstam
This is my take on Sameh Wadi's recipe from his stellar restaurant, Saffron, which unfortunately is now closed. However, his cookbook "The New Mediterranean Table: Modern and Rustic Recipes Inspired by Traditions Spanning Three Continents" is available.
In my version, the char on the cauliflower is achieved by roasting it in the oven. Then, you can quickly pull the dish together for serving after everything else you are cooking is ready.
1 head of cauliflower, sliced horizontally and cored
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
Pinch of Aleppo pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup crumbled sheep's milk feta (or cow or goat)
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Spanish sweet, smoked paprika, for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Roast the Cauliflower... Toss the cauliflower with canola oil, place it on a rimmed sheet pan and roast it for 10-15 minutes until it achieves a nice char. Remove from the oven and hold until ready to finish the dish.
Pull it all Together... Heat a saute pan over moderate heat and add a little olive oil. Use a heavy-bottomed pan for best results. When the cauliflower starts cooking and is heated through; add the sea salt, Aleppo pepper flakes and lemon juice. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring the whole time.
Plate the Dish... Place the cauliflower in a serving dish. Garnish with the feta, paprika and parsley. You can also drizzle olive oil over it for even more flavor.
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