Of course, this is somewhat unfair on the poor ol' cauliflower. It's not a sexy vegetable, nor is it a trendy one. Comforting soups and cheesy bakes (done properly, please) spring to mind when confronted with one, but I doubt many see this as the kind of vegetable you can simply steam, dress with butter and sprinkle with salt. It just doesn't stand up on it's own. However, roasting the florets intensifies the flavour, making them nutty, crispy and especially delicious when given a good dunking. Anchovy mayonnaise, studded with spring onions, capers and sprinkled with cinnamon was warming and luxurious; perfect for a starter or a snack.
Roasted Cauliflower with Anchovy Mayonnaise
Serves 4 as a starter or a nibble
1 medium cauliflower
A generous couple of pinches of chilli flakes
Salt & pepper
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 heaped tsp of capers
1 spring onion
1 tsp Dijon mustard or 1/2 tsp English mustard
2 sprigs of tarragon
1 tsp lemon juice
A dusting of ground cinnamon
Preheat the over to 230 degrees celcius. Cut the cauliflower into even-sized florets and give them a good wash. Drain and toss in a large bowl with a drizzle of oil, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and put it in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until the florets are browned and cooked through. Toss occasionally.
Meanwhile, chop the anchovies up finely and place in a pestle and mortar. Chop the capers and the spring onion roughly and throw this in. Mash about for a bit until it's all incorporated, and transfer to a bowl.
Add the mustard and then add the mayonnaise incrementally by tablespoon, mixing well in between each. Chop the tarragon finely, add the lemon juice and stir through. Finally dust it with a little cinnamon. Serve the florets piping hot with the dipping sauce on the side.