Cauliflower melds really well with briny Mediterranean foods like olives and capers. Making this chunky-style pasta topper is a great way to integrate another cruciferous vegetable into your diet. I like to serve it over olive oil-dressed spaghetti squash.
Oh and…save those tender outer green leaves that cradle the caulifower! They’re full of great phytonutrients because they, unlike the cauliflower, were exposed to the sun while the plant grew. Use them in your salad or garnish the plate with them for a little nibble on the side. [Ever wonder why cauliflower is white? No need to produce pigment-rich anti-oxidants if you're already protected from the elements!]
Spicy Cauliflower with Olives
1 small head cauliflower [@ 3.5 cups florets]
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1-28oz can chopped tomatoes
½ cup capers, rinsed
~24 black olives [Whichever kind you prefer, I used Botija olives because I had them on hand.]
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 T dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 dried Turkish bay leaves
2 cups water or vegetable stock
freshly-cracked black pepper
olive oil, for sautéing the vegetables
Sauté the onions, bell pepper, garlic, oregano, thyme, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes over medium heat in a drizzle of olive oil until the vegetables have softened.
Add the cauliflower florets, tomatoes, capers, olives, bay leaves and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is tender and the water volume has reduced by at least half. Season with salt and pepper.