Lemony Green Cauliflower with Scallions & Parmigiano

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For this recipe, cut the florets on the small side—no more than about 1 1/2 inches long. It also helps browning if you cut whole florets in half—that cut side will have maximum contact with the hot pan and get very caramelized (see photo). Feel free to adjust the amount of lemon (or add a bit of lemon zest) here. And if you want a slightly saucier dish, deglaze the pan (to scrape up the flavorful browned bits) by pouring a bit  more chicken broth, water, or wine (diluted) in at the end. You can also enhance the sauce with a bit more cold butter.

2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth or water
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
12 ounces (3/4 pound) green cauliflower florets (a little less than one small head, cut into small florets)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup sliced scallions (white and light green parts only) plus 1 tablespoon sliced green tops for garnish
2 tablespoons coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano  (I use a food processor to chop coarsely)

Combine the chicken broth or water with 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and put it near your stove. In a 10-inch (3-quart) straight-sided stainless steel sauté pan, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the green cauliflower florets and the salt and toss and stir well. (A silicone spoonula works well for this.) Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the florets are browned in places, about 6 to 7 minutes. (There will be moisture accumulating inside the lid and it will drip down to deglaze the pan a little bit. But don’t worry if the pan is getting brown.)

Uncover, carefully pour in the chicken broth or water and lemon mixture, and immediately put the lid back on (beware of steam). Cook until most of the liquid has steamed off or been absorbed, about 30 seconds. Uncover, turn the heat to low, and add the remaining tablespoon of butter, the remaining teaspoon of lemon juice, and the scallions. Cook, stirring gently, until the butter has melted and the scallions have softened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer all the green cauliflower and scallions to a serving dish or dishes. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano and the scallion tops and serve.

Serves 3


- Susie Middleton


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