I do lots of vegetables like this … artichokes, cauliflower and whole mushrooms are particularly good.
For artichokes, I remove the outer leaves and trim the top and stalk. Then I divide in half and remove any choke. (If the vegetable is fresh, there won’t be any). I bring a small pan to the boil with the juice of half a lemon, a generous glug of olive oil, a splash of water and sea salt. I add the halved artichokes and cover. I cook until just tender, then I remove the lid and reduce any liquid to a spoonful. All over a brisk flame. I serve on a plate with the remaining spoon of oily juice.
I like them at room temperature with bread and cheese or ham. Or I make a big selection of vegetables to serve as an antipasto on grander occasions.
This is a traditional recipe from Naples… insalata di rinforzo.
I steam a cauliflower, taking care not to overcook it. Then I divide the florets into smallish pieces. To these I add chopped roast peppers (those in jars are fine!), chopped gherkins, stoned olives, capers and a few anchovies. I dress the salad with an emulsion of salt, pepper, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
In Naples, what’s left over next day would be bolstered (rinforzo) with extra cauliflower. In our house we never have anything left over!
This should be made with broccoli, or better, sprouting broccoli…but cauliflower is OK.
I put on a big pan of salted water for the pasta and divide a small cauliflower into small florets. When the water boils I add the orecchiette (or any short pasta will do) and after a minute or two the cauliflower. While they cook, I dissolve 4 anchovies in olive oil in a large frying pan with a clove of garlic and some chilli flakes (or fresh chilli). I drain the pasta and cauliflower al dente and sauté them for a minute or two in the flavoured oil.
I’ve tried making orecchiette by hand, but no good. Anyone out there with tips?