Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Feta and Cranberry-Almond Relish
Yields Serves 2 to 4
From Matt Bell, Gray & Dudley, 21c Museum Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
For the whipped feta:
1 cup crumbled feta
2 cups cream cheese
1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
For the cranberr-almond relish:
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
1 star anise
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped celery leaves, for garnish
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
For the cauliflower:
500 grams (about 2 1/8 cups) dry white wine
100 grams (2/3 cup) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
50 grams (1/2 cup) kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon
10 grams (2 teaspoons) crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
10 grams (2 teaspoons) honey
1 bay leaf
1 head cauliflower, whole, stem trimmed and leaves removed
Sea salt for seasoning
Make the whipped feta: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Set aside.
Make the cranberry-almond relish: In a saucepot, bring sugar, water, star anise, and salt to a simmer for 5 minutes. Place cranberries in a bowl and pour the liquid over the cranberries and let plump for 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Just before serving, stir in celery leaves and almonds.
Make cauliflower: Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a large saucepot, bring wine, oil, salt, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, honey, bay leaf, and 8 cups of water to a boil. Lower in cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Using 2 slotted spoons, pull cauliflower from pot, letting it drain well. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, and roast in the oven, turning halfway, until brown all over, 30 to 40 minutes.
Spread whipped feta over the center of a plate. Transfer cauliflower to the plate. Drizzle cauliflower with oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and pile the cranberry-almond relish on top of and around the cauliflower.