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Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Tomato Chutney

4 Servings

45 minutes 15 minutes active

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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.




Don’t sprinkle the mustard seeds onto the cauliflower, as they will simply bounce off. Instead, scatter them into the pan. Also, don’t forget the skillet handle will be hot after being in the oven and will remain hot for some time following. Slide a potholder or oven mitt over the handle until it cools as a reminder not to grab it bare-handed.

45 minutes

15 minutes active


  • 3

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 2-2½

    pound head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 6 wedges


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