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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Almonds
50 minutes 35 minutes active
The inspiration for this cauliflower side comes from “Maximo,” by renowned Mexico City chef Eduardo García. To capture some of García’s complexly layered flavors while using a much-simplified approach, we make a thick puree of cilantro, sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, pumpkin seeds, jalapeños and olive oil. Most of it is applied as a seasoning paste to cauliflower florets; the remainder is made into a simple sauce for serving alongside. In his recipe, García calls for Spanish marcona almonds, and we agree that the rich, sweet nuts yield excellent flavor. However, if marconas aren’t available—or if they’re too pricy—use regular roasted almonds. If you wish to temper the chili heat, remove some or all of the seeds from the jalapeños before adding the chilies to the food processor.
cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
01Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist it with cooking spray. In a food processor, combine the cilantro, oil, sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chilies, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as needed; the puree will be very thick. Transfer to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; you should have about 1¾ cups.
This was delicious, especially with the dip. However, the paste does not stick to the cauliflower when tossed. The "massaging it into the crevices" step is tedious and time consuming, but necessary for adhesion. Next time I may just skip that step completely though and rely on dipping for full flavor instead.
This was surprisingly delicious and well balanced. I especially liked the dip, which went fantastic with tortilla chips too. This is a chameleon recipe that might have it's roots in Mexico City, but it can just as easily transport you to Spain or the Middle East. My only suggestion would be to maybe use more of the puree as dip and less as a rub.