One of my favorite Sicilian-inspired dishes that my grandmother used to make was pasta with cauliflower, raisins, capers and toasted bread crumbs. I have dropped the pasta and bread crumbs and roasted the cauliflower with my favorite healthy spice, turmeric. To achieve the same texture that the bread crumbs provided, I use crispy quinoa, which is nothing more than cooked quinoa sautéed in oil until crunchy. If you love the quinoa topping, you can add it to salads, soups and, of course, pasta. My only caveat with eating anything containing turmeric is that it stains like crazy, so don’t put out your best napkins with this dish!
Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins, Capers and Crispy Quinoa
1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into 2-inch florets
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
5 tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil or olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons capers, drained and patted dry
1/3 cup unsulfured golden raisins
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3/4 cup Crispy Quinoa (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the turmeric and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Arrange the cauliflower in one layer on the prepared baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until the cauliflower is golden and tender, 40 to 45 minutes.
3. While the cauliflower is roasting, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until the edges are just golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the capers and cook until they start to open up, about 3 more minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
4. In a medium-size bowl, soak the raisins in the hot water and vinegar until softened and plumped, about 10 minutes. Drain.
5. Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the raisins and garlic mixture on top, then toss to combine. Taste for seasoning. Top the cauliflower with crispy quinoa and parsley.
TIP: Turmeric, a root related to ginger, is one of the most anti-inflammatory foods you can consume. It has more health benefits than I have room to mention. It’s basically anti-anything you don’t want to get! And it is so versatile! It has a pleasant pungent flavor and is available both fresh and dried. I have added ground turmeric to warm almond milk, hot porridge, pancake batter, rice, marinades, soups and vegetables. Something to consider is that studies have found that consuming black pepper with turmeric boosts the absorption of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory substance in turmeric.
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MAKES 3/4 CUP
1 ½ teaspoons unrefined, virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Can be done 1 day in advance and kept in a sealed container at room temperature.
Excerpted from Kitchen Matters: More than 100 Recipes and Tips to Transform the Way You Cook and Eat—Wholesome, Nourishing, Unforgettable by Pamela Salzman. Copyright © 2017. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.