My husband and I went to the Golden Beetle in Ballard the other night and had some fabulous food. One of the dishes was cauliflower with currents and hazelnuts. It came to us with golden raisins and walnuts and the waitress was kind enough to let us know it was a little wrong. We never would have noticed since my aging eyes had missed these details on the menu, but it was nice to know that they cared enough about their food to notice the mistake for us. The bartendress was also kind enough to share with me what she thought the recipe was for this dish. I’m not sure if the ingredients she told me were exactly what was in it, but I enjoyed the challenge of trying to recreate the dish anyway. I didn’t manage to duplicate it, but what I created was not bad for an amateur.
I served this with polenta and smoky spinach and the two were a perfect complement to each other.
About 20 minutes, mostly active time
1 medium head of cauliflower
2 tblsp butter
2 tblsp olive oil
2 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
pinch of saffron
2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
4 tblsp brown sugar
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup golden raisins or currants
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
-Heat oven to 375. Put hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast until skins have cracked and nuts are lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Chop and set aside.
-Remove outer leaves and core of cauliflower and thinly slice cauliflower. It won’t be possible to slice all of it, but you want as much of it sliced as you can and the small bits leftover are fine as is.
-Put a 10″ saute pan or cast iron pan on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add butter and olive oil to pan and when butter foams, add the cauliflower to the pan. Cook, giving the pan a toss here and there for a few minutes until the cauliflower begins to brown. Stir and cook until the cauliflower is beginning to be browned all over, 3-5 minutes. Add the caraway, saffron, tumeric, salt and pepper and stir to cook and combine for 1 minute. Add brown sugar, stir and add stock to pan. Bring the stock to a simmer and add the raisins or currants. Continue to cook until the cauliflower is completely tender, 5-8 minutes more.
-When cauliflower is tender, remove from heat and toss in the hazelnuts. Stir to combine and serve.