Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cauliflower with Orange Flavor

This recipe is inspired by a Spanish salad recipe. It can still be served as a salad if you chill it after cooking. But, the important difference is all the ingredients are cooked. In the original recipe, the cauliflower is blanched but the rest of the ingredients are added raw. Some folks like raw onions, many don't. So, here's a variation on the raw salad that is made even better by sautéing the onions. The original version also has segments of orange; this version gets the punch of orange flavor from orange zest.

Extra-virgin olive oil is fairly expensive. To keep the cost low, we use cheaper vegetable oil for the sautéing and finish it with a drizzle of the more flavorful but more expensive extra-virgin olive oil. You can leave off the drizzle; it's still very tasty.

The average non-sale cost of cauliflower is $1.49 but this time of year, you can find it on sale a lot. Look for those produce sales! Eating what is on sale this week can really save you a bunch of money and stretch your budget for delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables.

Cauliflower with Orange Flavor
(serves 4-6, costs $2.80)

1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into florets
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ of a red onion, minced
1 small can (3.8 oz.) sliced olives or ⅓ cup chopped kalamata olives
2 Tablespoons water
zest of 1 orange
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Heat the 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for a minute or two until the onion becomes translucent. Add cauliflower,  olives, and 2 Tablespoons water. Cook, covered, until cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add orange zest, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Serve hot, warm, or chilled. If you serve it chilled, you may need to add a bit more salt.

This is a vegetable dish that improves with reheating.

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