Monday, June 1, 2015

Stufato di arancia cavolfiore e d'oliva Siciliana

     Sicilian Style Stewed Orange Cauliflower And Black Olive Stew!  
     If you need a good cauliflower or broccoli recipe, then turn to the experts.  Sicilians are the absolute experts at creating great cauliflower and broccoli recipes!  Cauliflower has been grown in Sicily for a very long time.  Sicilians vegetable growers have been creating cauliflower and broccoli hybrids for a long time too.  There is nothing like hearing a hybrid vegetable grower say "This is a very special cauliflower!"  This is especially true if the gardener is Sicilian, because you know that you will be in for a real treat!
     Purple Cauliflower is a Sicilian hybrid.  I have posted a few recipes for Purple Cauliflower in the past.  A greenish white cauliflower hybrid is another popular Sicilian hybrid.
     Orange Cauliflower is a Canadian hybrid that was developed in the last century.  This exotic cauliflower hybrid is becoming popular in Europe and it is just a matter of time before this fine vegetable is farmed in Italy.  Orange Cauliflower looks so good on a plate that farmers and chefs simply cannot pass this vegetable up!
    Orange Cauliflower is also called Yellow Cauliflower or Cheddar Cauliflower.  The flavor of Orange Cauliflower is very delicate and it marries with the flavors of good black olives and olive oil in a very nice way!

     It pays to choose the olives wisely for today's recipe.  Grecian Kalamata Olives are used in recipes far too often.  Kalamata Olives have the wrong flavor profile for today's Sicilian recipe.  Good Italian cured black olives or Arabic black olives that have about a medium strong flavor are best for this recipe.  The black olives should be slightly oily and shiny from the start.
     Cheap mass produced canned pitted olives are better off left on the store shelf.  Cheap black olives taste like cardboard!  Shop for olives where good olives can be found.  A nice variety of good olives can be found in Italian delicatessens, Greek delis and Mediterranean food markets.

     Stufato translates to stew in Italian.  Stewing is a technique that is pretty much the same as braising.  Stereotypically speaking, stew is pictured as being a pot of food that cooks all day.  This is not true, because a stew is ready, when it is ready!  A stew can be ready in 5 minutes or as long as 4 hours.  Some items only need to be stewed for a short time.  Today's Sicilian cauliflower stew only requires less than 30 minutes of stewing time.
     Blanching also is a technique used in today's recipe.  Blanching the cauliflower will minimize caramelization, when the cauliflower is sautéed with garlic, before stewing with white wine and black olives.

     Stufato di arancia cavolfiore e d'oliva Siciliana:
     This recipe yields 1 large portion or 2 petite portions.
     Step 1:  Cut 1/2 of a head of orange cauliflower into small florets.  Slice the large florets into 1/4" thick slices.
     Bring a sauce pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
     Blanch the cauliflower in the hot water, till it is cooked a little crispier than al dente.
     Drain the water off of the cauliflower.
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of pomace olive oil.
     Add 3 cloves of finely minced garlic.
     Sauté till the garlic starts to become aromatic.
     Step 3:  Add the blanched cauliflower.
     Sauté till a few golden highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Add 1/5 cup of cured ripe olives that have been pitted by hand.
     Add 1 1/2 cups of dry white wine.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pan with a lid.
     Stew the cauliflower for 25 to 30 minutes.
     Step 6:  Remove the lid from the pan.
     Raise the temperature to medium heat.
     Simmer and reduce, till nearly all of the liquid has evaporated.
     Step 7:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of virgin olive oil over the cauliflower.
     Mound the Stufato di arancia cavolfiore e d'oliva Siciliana on a serving plate.
     No garnish is necessary!

     Sounds simple and easy!  It is simple and easy!  The flavors are uncomplicated yet complex.  Sicilians are experts at creating great flavor from only a few choice ingredients!  

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