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Cauliflower with Cassoulet Beans and Capers


I somehow landed a copy of Omar Allibhoy’s Spanish Made Simple and while I wasn’t expecting much, several of the recipes have become favorites. It’s good! It isn’t a definitive guide to the Spanish kitchen by any means, but there’s fine inspiration for home cooks and dishes you don’t see all the time.

The Coliflor con Ajos Vinagre y Alcaparras recipe has been served at my place several times and of course I feel compelled to improvise. I roasted the cauliflower instead of boiling it and what’s a good dish without beans? The addition of cooked white beans makes this an easy main course instead of a side dish and it’s likely you have a cup or two of beans already in your fridge.

You could easily make this more Rancho Gordo-like by using our New Mexican Chile Powder for the pimentón and our Pineapple Vinegar for the sherry vinegar. I like both versions but the one below feels a little like going on vacation.


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets and leaves reserved
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided use)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 5 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sweet pimentón (sweet smoked paprika)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons Jerez sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Cassoulet or Alubia Blanca beans
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

Serves 4 to 6

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower pieces with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, a pinch of salt and some cracked pepper. Toss well. Transfer the cauliflower to a large baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Shake the pan to loosen and move the cauliflower and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons oil into a cold frying pan, add the reserved cauliflower leaves, sliced garlic, capers and cumin seeds and then turn the heat to high. When the garlic turns golden, add the pimentón and then the sherry vinegar. Cook for 30 seconds to reduce the liquid a bit. Reduce the heat to medium and add the beans; cook for about 4 minutes, until the beans are warmed through. Add the roasted cauliflower. Make sure the ingredients are well mixed, then sprinkle with parsley and serve.



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