I love the texture and flavor of roasted cauliflower, but it's impossible to achieve quickly. We figured out this alternative cooking method—reminiscent of that used to make pot stickers—in which you steam and then sear the cauliflower on your stovetop. The flavorful result is served with Spanish romesco, one of my favorite sauces, and potatoes roasted with coarse and crunchy Maldon sea salt.

Serves 2


  • 1 pound cauliflower
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces new potatoes
  • 1 tsp. Maldon sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 6 ounces roasted red peppers
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • A few sprigs fresh parsley, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup green olives


    Heat oven to 400°. Rinse the cauliflower and trim the bottom so it's flat. Stabilize the cauliflower on a cutting board, cut-side down, and carefully cut downward to halve it. Put 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower wedges, cut-side down, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover. Cook, peeking occasionally, until they're fork-tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, undisturbed, until the water evaporates and the wedges are crisp and brown on the bottom, 2 to 5 minutes.

    Scrub and halve the potatoes; put them on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, sprinkle with half the sea salt and some pepper and toss. Roast the potatoes until they're brown and crisp in places, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the potatoes with the remaining sea salt.

    Chop the garlic. Put the garlic, almonds, and remaining tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, 2 or 3 minutes; remove the pan from the heat. Rinse and drain the peppers in a colander. Put them in a food processor, along with the almond mixture, vinegar and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pulse until the sauce is as coarse or as smooth as you'd like; to thin it, add water 1 tablespoon at a time as you work.

    Transfer the romesco back to the skillet and warm it over medium heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Rinse and dry the parsley; trim the toughest stems and chop the leaves. Drain the olives in a colander and slice them.

    To serve, put a small amount of the romesco on a plate and top with a cauliflower wedge and some potatoes. Garnish with the parsley and olives.

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