You’ve indulged in rich foods over the holidays, perhaps some decadence in the diet? I have too! Now that we’re into January it’s time to look to the vast, delicious and healthy vegetarian Greek dishes that we call Ladera or “oiled”.
The cornerstone of Greek cookery is seasonal ingredients, quality olive oil and prepared in a simple manner that allows the ingredients to shine. Today’s focus is cauliflower, an old dish with its origins said to come from Cyprus, thus adopting the old French name “chou de Chypre” (Cyprus cabbage).
Cauliflower was also introduced to England in 1586 where it was called Cyprus cabbage or colewort. It is a vegetable you likely haven’t seen as most visitors to Cyprus and Greece are there in the summer time, when this is a winter time vegetable!
Here, I am adding cauliflower in a pot with potatoes and onions to make a stew or stifado in Greek. A stifado usually has lots of onions but I’ve toned it down a bit as I still want to taste the cauliflower. Your kitchen will come alive with the aromas of bay, rosemary, onions, Greek oregano and Kalamata olives. Olive oil is the conduit to bring the sauce together and the kale, iron rich kale offers colour and even more taste and health to your dish.
Culiflower Stifado With Kale & Kalamata Olives (Κουνουπίδι Στιφάδο)
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 bay leaves
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 heaping Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup of pearl onions, blanched and skins removed
6-7 small potatoes, skin on (skins scrubbed/washed well), cut in half
3-4 cups hot vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups of wash kale (or other leafy greens), stems removed
1 cup of Kalamata olives
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
- Remove the leaves of your cauliflower (discard) and wash/trim the head. Turn to the undersides and cut off the florets by turning a paring knife downwards and around the stalk to release the florets. Add some olive oil into your pot and brown the florets and remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve.
- Place a large pot on your stovetop and over medium heat add your onions, garlic, bay leaves, red peppers and sweat for 5-6 minutes. Now add the tomato paste, chopped rosemary, pearl onions and potatoes and stir and cook for minute.
- Add enough stock/hot water to just cover the potatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Uncover, add the cauliflower florets (stem side down), the kale and sprinkle some more salt and pepper over the leaves and cover. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until the kale has wilted (the kale will release more water). Now add the olives and cover again and simmer uncovered to thicken the sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, add your dried Greek oregano and red wine vinegar to taste. DO NOT stir but shake the pot back and forth to mix/blend (and not break up your cauliflower).
- Divide and serve with good crusty bread and serve with a Kir Yanni Akakies Rose.
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Cauliflower Stifado With Kale & Kalamata Olives was first posted on January 9, 2013 at 9:53 am.
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