Curried Cauliflower with Pickled Onions and Pomegranate
Pickled red onions, pomegranate seeds and cilantro lend color and flavor to this cauliflower dish, which gets its intense flavor from curry butter. You will have some pickled onions left over. They’re excellent scattered over salads and add bright crunch to sandwiches, burgers and tacos.
For the pickled onions:
- 1 red onion, julienned
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) Champagne vinegar
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) water
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbs. kosher salt
For the curry butter:
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter
- 4 shallots, julienned
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbs. Madras curry powder
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
- 2 heads cauliflower, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) florets
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) pomegranate seeds
To make the pickled onions, put the onion in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, olive oil, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and salt and bring to a boil. Pour over the onion. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to use. The pickled onions will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To make the curry butter, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter browns and the shallots and garlic turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and orange zest. Set aside.
In a large, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the grapeseed oil. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, tender and cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and stir in the curry butter and 1 Tbs. of the onion pickling liquid.
Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl. Arrange the cilantro, pomegranate seeds and pickled onion on top and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Charlie Parker, Chef, Haven, Oakland, CA