Roasted cauliflower noodle bowl with capers and pine nuts
When the field blesses us with the first head of cauliflower, it becomes our supper as we wash and process the week’s haul. While the florets roast and the pasta comes to al dente, we urge the remaining bits into a paste in the mortar.
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- 1 small, early cauliflower with tight florets, cut to smaller than bite size, about 3 cups
- 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed well and drained, divided
- 1/4 cup good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 8 ounces brown rice shells or scroodles
- handful sea salt for pasta water
- 2 plump garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place cauliflower, oil (saving back one tablespoon), and capers (holding back one teaspoon) in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper grinds to taste and thoroughly toss to coat.
- Spread contents of the bowl in one even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, tossing after 15 minutes. Check for a golden color and roast five more minutes, if needed.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Drop in pasta, stir once and lower heat to medium low.
- Allow to bubble politely for 12 minutes while you finish the prep.
- Place the remaining capers, remaining oil, and sliced garlic in a mortar.
- Grind with a pestle till partially smooth.
- Add the butter and lemon zest and mash to a paste.
- Place in the bottom of the serving bowl.
- Watch the pasta for doneness, especially if you are not familiar with brown rice pasta.
- When it is just short of al dente, rescue 1/2 cup of the boiling water and drain the pasta in a colander in the sink. Spray with a bit of cold water to halt cooking. Return to the pot with the rescued 1/2 cup cooking water. The pot will still be warm and will comfort the pasta till you are ready with everything else.
- Layer the pasta on top of the caper mixture in the serving bowl.
- Add cheese and give it a good stir.
- Layer the cauliflower, capers, and pine nuts on top and toss thoroughly.
- Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
- Serve warm.
- We always leave a 1/2 cup measuring cup in the colander to remind us to rescue the boiling water. It softens up everything delightfully.
- When we need both juice and zest from a lemon, we always zest first, then slice and juice.
Stonebridge Farm CSA http://stonebridgefarmcsa.com/