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Whole Baked Romanesco with Tomato Olive Sauce

10 December

Romanesco is so extraordinary – this makes a grand presentation, as well as being delicious!

Ingredients:
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large head of Romaneso, outer green leaves discarded, stalk chopped
olive oil
a handful of black olives, pitted
4 good quality salted anchovy fillets, drained and sliced
a handful of fresh flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped, stalks finely chopped
2 8-ounce cans of good quality plum tomatoes
red wine vinegar
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:
1. Find a pan that will fit the whole head of cauliflower, leaving an inch around the outside of it. This is important, otherwise it won’t work and cook the way it is supposed to.
2. Add the onion, garlic, chopped cauliflower stalks and a good drizzle of olive oil to the pan and slowly sauté for 10 minutes until softened with a little color. Add the olives, anchovies, and parsley stalks and sauté for another couple of minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, if using, then half fill one of the cans with water and add that to the pan. Add a good pour of the red wine vinegar. Stir everything together, breaking down the tomatoes with a spoon to make sure that there are no big lumps. Bring to a boil.
4. Take the romanesco and gently push it down into the sauce. Half of the cauliflower will be in the sauce, half above it. Drizzle with olive oil, put the lid on and let it simmer on low heat for 50 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the parsley leaves.
5. You can make this vegetarian by taking out the anchovies.

Serves 4 as a side

 

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