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Cauliflower becomes remarkably delicious when charred, the deep caramelization adding complexity and nutty, bittersweet flavors. Instead of roasting cauliflower florets (that require a fair amount of knifework) or steaks (that incur waste), we cleave the head into wedges, creating ample surface area on the cut sides for browning. We sear the wedges in a skillet on the stovetop, then slip the pan into a hot oven to finish cooking the cauliflower without risk of scorching. And to make a simple embellishment, we roast a tomato in the same skillet as the cauliflower, then make a tangy-sweet chutney by mashing it with fresh ginger, chilies and cloves. Asafoetida is an optional ingredient in the chutney. Ground from the resin of a plant related to celery, asafoetida has a strong, rather off-putting sulfurous aroma but a complex, inimitable flavor with hints of allium. Look for it in Indian grocery stores.
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
pound head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 6 wedges
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