Add this one to your post-holiday menus. It’s on ours. This is one of our favorite ways to prepare cauliflower, and after a week of complicated, heavy meals, this easy, slightly spicy food is just about right. It still has some richness due to the toasted nuts, but that’s offset by the chilies and ginger. We got this recipe out of Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet, Padma Lakshmi’s book. Incidentally, I’ve just read that Ms. Lakshmi will soon be the proud mother of a bouncy baby Bouludd, read, Daniel Boulud. I learned that on the internet so it is probably true.
Sautéed Cauliflower with Anise and Cashews
Adapted from Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp anise seeds
- 3 or 4 long dry red chilies
- 1 cup diced shallots
- 1 ½ Tbsp minced ginger
- 2 ¼ lbs cauliﬂower, broken into small ﬂorets
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup cashews
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the anise seeds and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Roughly break up the chilies, add them to the anise seeds, and stir. After 5 minutes, add the shallots, ginger, and cauliﬂower. Add ½ cup of water and the salt, and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in the cashews, and cook for an additional 10 minutes or so uncovered, until all the moisture is gone, stirring occasionally (don’t over-stir or you won’t get charred parts). The cauliﬂower will reduce greatly in size, and should have some charred or brown bits at the edges. The cashews should also be toasted brown. Serve hot.