I know this is a recipe for Cauliflower but I’m going to start with a discussion of Panca Peppers. Just bear with me – it won’t hurt, much.. Panca are smoky red peppers found primarily in Peru. They have much the same flavor as chipotle chilies in adobo – but without ANY of the heat. I found them in one of our local Mexican markets at the direction of my dear friend Chef Anne McAllister. This recipe (courtesy of Chef Anne) and a number of others coming up on this blog, use these unusual and very delicious peppers. If you can’t find them locally you can buy a jar of panca paste on Amazon for under $10 including tax and shipping. Once you buy them I know you will come up with a thousand uses for them, and not just in recipes that I suggest.
Roasted Cauliflower (4 side dish servings or enough for 6-8 tossed in a salad)
- 2 lbs cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon panca pepper puree OR 2 teaspoons chipotle chilies in adobo
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients EXCEPT the cauliflower in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat. Place on a large sheet pan and roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring twice, until caramelized.
You can serve these warm as a side dish – or, and this is my preference, you can coarsely chop them and toss them with wild arugula and your favorite vinaigrette (click through to my mine). The color and flavor combination of the roasted cauliflower and arugula is perfect.