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Cauliflower with Agrodolce

Agrodolce is a traditional sweet and sour sauce in Chinese cuisine. In transliteration, it is called tian suan jiang. Agrodolce is the Italian word for this kind of sauce; agro means sour and dolce means sweet. In this version, the vinegar and lemon constitute the sour part and the honey the sweet. The capers add complex saltiness, the mustard a gentle heat, the parsley freshness, the nuts texture and the raisins absorb the liquid and add texture and sweetness.

Cauliflower roasted until golden brown develops and warm and inviting nuttiness; this sweet and sour sauce compliments that nuttiness while transforming a simple roasted cauliflower dish into something complex and incredibly satisfying. Best of all, this is a healthy side and takes about 45 minutes to get it from fridge to table. 

1 head cauliflower, cored
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon coarse mustard
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup toasted finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the cauliflower into 1 1/2 inch florets, then cut each lengthwise. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Arrange onto the baking sheet and roast until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Whisk the lemon juice and zest, oil, vinegar, honey and mustard until well combined. Add in the remaining ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes.

Serve the roasted cauliflower with the agrodolce and enjoy!


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