Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins
For a Spanish version, use less of the red pepper flakes and add 2 tbsp. paprika, either smoked or plain. From Joyce Goldstein's "The Mediterranean Kitchen", 1989. Preparation time does not include allowing the oil to cool.
- 2 small heads cauliflower, broken into florets (3-4 cups)
- 1 strip lemon zest
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dried red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch paprika
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- Cook the florets until crisp-tender (4 to 5 minutes) in a large pot of boiling water. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Heat the olive oil gently in a small saucepan. Remove from hat, drop in pepper flakes, and let steep until the oil is red, about 15 minutes. Strain the oil, discarding the flakes. Add the pinch of paprika to heighten the color. Let the oil cool completely.
- Combine the vinegar and garlic in a mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the red pepper oil, then stir in the capers. Season to taste with salt, then pour the vinaigrette over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Let marinate at room temperature a few hours before serving.