Cauliflower Bites with Roasted Lemon Salsa Verde
What could be better than colorful cauliflower florets tossed with olive oil and salt and roasted until crispy and caramelized? How about dipping those crunchy-on-the-outside and creamy-on-the-inside veggies in an herbaceous sauce spiked with roasted lemons diced into chewy bits and anchovies?
Now, I know that the thought of anchovies in your dipping sauce may not make your mouth water. But this Roasted Lemon Salsa Verde has converted every anchovy-hater I know into an anchovy-lover. Why do I want you to eat more anchovies? Because these tiny fatty fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, a crucial component of a brain healthy diet. And unlike wild salmon, which I adore for its flavor and health profile, anchovies are inexpensive.
I served these Cauliflower Bites with Roasted Lemon Salsa Verde at a Brain Works Kitchen talk I gave in Laguna Beach this month. No one suspected the secret ingredient was anchovies — that’s because these potent little fishes add depth of flavor without fishiness. Anchovies add umami — that fifth taste (besides sweet, sour, salty, bitter) that gives food a powerful depth of flavor. The word umami comes from the Japanese word for delicious, umai; loosely translated, umami means deliciousness.
If you can find colorful varieties of cauliflower — purple, orange and green — choose some of each. The color will fade slightly after roasting but all those phytonutrients from the pigments will still be there.
In the winter, it’s fun to roast a whole head of cauliflower until it’s crispy on the outside and done all the way through, then serve it on a bed of the Roasted Lemon Salsa Verde. Sliced up like a standing rib roast, it makes a perfect vegetarian entree.
What will you dip in your Roasted Lemon Salsa Verde? I can think of a hundred summery foods that would love a dollop: grilled chicken or fish, a pork tenderloin, or small medallions of grass-fed beef. Or how about a crudité platter of fresh veggies: sugar snap peas, carrots, red peppers, radishes.