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Cauliflower al Ajoarriero

Coliflor al Ajoarriero

Named after the muleteers who traded garlic around the inland meseta's towns and villages, ajoarriero dishes remain a part of everyday cooking. The salt cod ones are the most famous, but I like this dish from Valladolid because of the quieter flavors. This is, by the way, one of the region's few really distinctive vegetable dishes -- other than pisto and asadillo, both based on bell peppers -- and is great with a full red wine.

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 15 min.[PT15M]

Cook Time: 30 min.[PT30M]

Ingredients:

1 large cauliflower
5 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
1 tsp rock salt or sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil and a little extra for frying
About 2 tsp pimentón, sweet or bittersweet (to taste)
Splash of wine vinegar

Preparation:

Wash and break the cauliflower into small florets and simmer in salted boiling water until just tender. Meanwhile, pound four of the garlic cloves, the parsley, and salt in a mortar. Stir in the olive oil and three tablespoonfuls of the cauliflower's cooking water.

Separately, sauté the final sliced clove of garlic in a little olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Turn the heat down to low, add the pimentón and a little wine vinegar, and stir in the mortar's contents. Bring everything briefly to a boil.

Drain the cooked cauliflower well in a colander, transfer to a heated serving dish, and pour the contents of the frying pan over the top.

Selected by Vicky Hayward
Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

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