A few weeks ago I had spotted a small box of pickled Caper Berries at our local Whole Foods store. I remember eating them at a Greek restaurant in France but I had never seen them in the US. So since then I had been thinking of some good way to use them in my cooking. I love their tart sharp taste and also the crunchy texture and so I wanted to use them in a dish that highlighted these qualities (more info on caper berries at this link – http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-caperberries.htm). Finally after much internal brain storming I decided to combine the Caper Berries with roasted cauliflower! So this morning I went back to the Whole Foods store to purchase the Caper Berries and to my dismay they had none on the shelf. For half an hour I rummaged through all their sections and still failed to find any, so I sought the help of one of their sales person. He informed me that they no longer had any available in plastic container but the olive bar might have some. The olive bar had twenty different kinds of olives and pickles but I could not find any Caper Berries. After much searching I found a batch of mixed olives that had a few of the tell-tale stems of the caper berries sticking out of them. I guess, now I saw this as a challenge – I had to have some Caper Berries. After much fishing through the container I found six whole Caper Berries! I came back and made my dish with those six Caper Berries, to which I also added some capers. I must say that the effort was well worth the taste – this was a divine combination!
If you can’t find the Caper Berries, just substitute them with regular capers!
1. A whole head of Cauliflower
2. Half a medium sized white onion
3. 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4. 6-10 pickled Caper Berries
5. 1 tablespoon of capers
6. 2 cloves of garlic
7. 1/3 cup of 2% milk
8. ¼ cup of cashews
9. 1/3 bulb of fennel (and some of the fennel fronds/leaves for garnishing)
10. ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
11. 1 teaspoon of salt (or as needed)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Wash the head of cauliflower and cut into bite sized florets.
3. Dry the florets very well using kitchen paper towels and spread them on a cookie sheet.
4. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the florets and using your hands distribute the oil all over the cauliflower pieces.
5. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and set the times for about 25 minutes (you will need to turn them over after half the time has gone by so that they get browned evenly on both sides).
6. While the cauliflower is getting roasted, finely chop half an onion, two cloves of garlic and also the bulb of fennel.
12. Place the sauce back in the skillet and add the red chili flakes and salt. At this stage taste for salt and if you need more add some more. Cook this sauce over low heat for another minute or so. If it looks too runny, let it cook for longer and if it looks too thick, add a little bit more milk to it.
13. Check on the cauliflower and see if the florets are lightly browned. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on them and turn them over with a pair of tongs – just to ensure even browning. If they look a little underdone, place them in the oven for another 5 minutes.