Saturday, July 18, 2009
This is a bitter and slightly sweet alternative to the same old slaw
6 cloves garlic, with tips cut off (the side that is pointy)
1/2 cup virgin olive oil, divided
I head (about 2 pounds) cauliflower
table salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
6 ounces green beans, trimmed
1 small head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
4 anchovy fillets
2 teaspoons zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (1 ounce), plus more shaved for serving
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.
2. Cut one 12-inch sheet of foil and spread flat on counter. Place garlic cloves, in center of foil. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon oil over the garlic and seal packet. Place packet on oven rack and roast until garlic is very tender, about 40 minutes. Open packet and set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, trim outer leaves of cauliflower and cut stem flush with bottom. Cut head from pole to pole into 8 equal wedges. Place cauliflower in large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and sugar.
4. Remove baking sheet from oven. Carefully transfer cauliflower to baking sheet and spread into even layer, placing cut sides down. Return baking sheet to oven and roast until cauliflower is well browned and tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer cauliflower to cutting board. When cool enough to handle, chop into rough ½-inch pieces.
5. Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and return to a boil, and cook until they start to turn bright green, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice-water bath. Let cool. Thinly slice beans on the bias. Transfer to large bowl, and add radicchio.
6. In a blender or food processor, process anchovies, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, mustard, and roasted garlic until smooth. With machine running, pour remaining oil in a slow, steady stream, blending until emulsified. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
7. Pour dressing over vegetables. Stir in grated cheese. Again, season liberally with salt and pepper. Let stand for at least 10 minutes. Garnish with shaved Pecorino or Parmesan.
** Radicchio is a bitter and slightly spicy leaf vegetable, sometimes called Italian chicory. Different varieties are named after the Italian regions where they originate: the most readily available variety in the United States is radicchio di Chioggia, which is maroon, round, and about the size of a softball. Just like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese-makers of Parma, Italy, have attempted to protect the name "Parmesan" to signify only cheeses made in their region, so too have the radicchio farmers of the Veneto sought to protect the names of some radicchio varieties.
* Chicory is known for its toxicity to parasites (many bitter plants have a similar toxicity). Studies show that ingestion of chicory by farm animals results in reduction of worms, which has prompted its use as a forage supplement.
Recipe by Cristina Paul