Monday, 19 September 2011

Baked Cauliflower in Tomato and Olive Sauce... or BRAAAAIIIIINNNNNS!

I love a good psychobilly show! The double-bass, the crazy distorted guitars, the hours of retro hair-styling... awesome! I had been eying this dish in a Jamie Oliver book for a while, and given it's looks, I thought I'd save it for a Halloween party, but seeing the Brains open for the Nekromantix last might made me feel like going: "Braiiiiins! BRAAAAAIIIINS!". Or actually, "cauliflower baked in tomato and olive sauce that really looks like cooked brains!". Not that I know first-hand what cooked brains looks like, but hey, this little Mediterranean veggie-dish is delicious and healthy. I wanted it to look even more like something a zombie would like, so I served the cauliflower with tagliatelle dripping in the cooking sauce. Keep this recipe preciously; it might be the only way you'll be able to distract zombies long enough to escape when they try to take over the world!

1 red onion, peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed and stalk chopped
Olive oil
1 handful of Kalamata olives, pitted
4 anchovy fillets, drained and sliced (optional)
1 handful fresh parsley, leaves and stalks chopped
2 (14 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
Red wine vinegar

Get a pan large enough for the whole head of cauliflower to fit into. Throw in the onion, garlic, chopped cauliflower stalk and a glug of olive oil to the pan and fry slowly for 10 minutes, until softened and lightly colored. Add the olives, anchovies (if using) and parsley stalks and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and a bit of water to the pan, with a good swig of red wine vinegar. Stir everything together, breaking the tomatoes down with a spoon to make sure there are no big lumps and bring to a boil. Take the cauliflower and gently push it down into the sauce. Half the cauliflower should be in the sauce, half above it. Drizzle with olive oil, put the lid on and it tick over low heat for 50 minutes. To serve, carefully remove the cauliflower and then transfer the sauce to a serving platter, and place the cauliflower on the middle.

Obviously, veganizing this dish is easy as pie: don't use anchovies! I didn't because my boyfriend finds them too salty, and the sauce is tasty enough without them.

To give my dish the ultimate zombie-meal look, I prepared the pasta just before the cauliflower was ready, transferred them to a serving plate, added a ladle of sauce, placed the cauliflower on top and drizzled in more sauce. Let your guests carve their helpings and feed!

1 comment:

  1. This is fucking awesome. I love it. And the Nekromantix too.