Magda Gagliano's Perfect Leftovers, Continued

Insalata di Cavolfiore con Prezzemolo


If you are like me, you always have flat leaf parsley in your refrigerator. If you are also like me, you are always trying to find ways to use up the very last bit of that parsley. FYI – save those stems for stocks.

One day while rummaging through my fridge I also came across a head of cauliflower that I had been saving for a specific purpose but could no longer remember what that was. Cauliflower is amazing as it can stand up to some very bold flavors such as capers and anchovies, which are always in my pantry.

I was also being faced with an all too familiar task of resuscitating leftover bread. I don’t know why but my family is never able to finish an entire loaf of bread without it going dry and stale. Bored of making another panzanella, I decided to roast the bread with the cauliflower along with copious amounts of oil.
The result of these random ingredients listed above is my Insalata di Cavolfiore con Prezzemolo. Substantial enough to be a meal all on its own but also works well as a contorno (Italian side dish).

Insalata di Cavolfiore con Prezzemolo

1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
2 large shallots, cut into ¼ inch slices
1 bunch of parsley, leaves removed from stems; larger leaves torn in half
1 dry baguette or ½ loaf of other dry bread, broken into bit size pieces (random “shapes” best)
2 tablespoons capers
3 anchovy filets (packed in oil)
1/3 cup olive oil for roasting
2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Bring large pot of water to boil, add salt followed by cauliflower. Blanch for 2 minutes. Remove cauliflower and place on kitchen towel. You want to absorb as much water as possible.

Place cauliflower, bread and shallots on baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and toss. Try to keep ingredients in a single layer. You may need to split into two baking sheets to achieve desired doneness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven for 20-25 minutes total. You want the cauliflower to brown and caramelize.

While cauliflower and onions are roasting, you can pick the parsley leaves off the stem. This can be done in advance as long as you wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel and keep in the fridge.

Next, mix the anchovies and sherry vinegar until the anchovies break apart. The end result should be a very loose paste.

About 5-7 minutes before the cauliflower is done, sprinkle capers over cauliflower mixture and finish roasting.

Remove cauliflower mixture and while still warm, pour over the anchovy vinegar paste and toss.

Allow the dressed baking sheet ingredients to cool to room temperature, at which point you can toss in the parsley leaves and adjust salt and pepper seasoning, to taste. You can also drizzle some additional olive oil, if necessary.

Don't forget to check out CucinettaNYC for more of Magda's delicious menu ideas and a schedule of upcoming cooking demos. In the meantime, try Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi, another one of Magda's perfect leftovers.

Please tell us: what are some of your favorite leftover dishes that have guests clamoring for more?

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