Manchurian Candidate, Not Exactly! from from Saladish by Ilene Rosen with Donna Gelb (Artisan Books, 2018/Photographs by Joseph De Leo )
Browsing through books I received in Spring 2019, I realized this bright red choux fleur recipe had failed to show up here, now corrected.
This is a simplified and not-fried version of Gobi Manchurian, an Indian restaurant favorite of fried cauliflower seasoned Indo-Chinese style. Try to find a head of cauliflower that still has its leaves.
1 head of cauliflower, cut into medium florets, core reserved and tender part sliced, leaves left whole
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 cup flavorless vegetable oil
1⁄3 cup minced jalapeño
1⁄3 cup finely minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
4 or 5 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets, return to a boil, and cook for about 1 minute, until the florets are just tender. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a sheet pan to cool.
- Whisk together the tomato paste, molasses, cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the oil in a small bowl until thoroughly blended.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium heat and sauté the jalapeño, ginger, and garlic for a minute or two, until soft and fragrant but not browned. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper and add to the tomato mixture, whisking to thoroughly combine.
- Put the cauliflower florets in a large bowl and toss with the tomato mixture, rubbing the mixture into the florets’ cracks and crevices. Taste and add more kosher salt if necessary. Spread out on the same sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan and roast for 10 minutes more, or until the florets are tender and browned, even charred in some spots. Meanwhile, toss the slices of core and the leaves with oil and kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Roast on a separate small pan just until browned, about 7 minutes. Let the florets, core slices, and leaves cool.
- Transfer the cauliflower florets, leaves, and slices of core to a bowl, add most of the scallions, and toss to combine. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with the olive oil, and scatter the reserved scallions and some flaky salt over the top. Serve.
(* Excerpted from Saladish by Ilene Rosen with Donna Gelb -Artisan Books- Copyright © 2018 /Photographs by Joseph De Leo.”)