Charred Cauliflower and Shishito Peppers with Picada Sauce
Picada is a Catalan-style pesto, made here with almonds, parsley, and chocolate—a surprise ingredient that adds a pleasing touch of bitterness to this delicious side dish.
Yield: serves 4-6
- 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, halved, and cut into 1 1/2" wedges
- 2 tbsp. plus 1 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 cup canola oil, for frying
- 12 shishito peppers
- 1⁄2 cup whole almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. roughly chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp. finely grated dark chocolate
- 2 tsp. sherry
- Heat oven broiler. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with 2 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper; broil, flipping once, until charred and tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil and the garlic in a 12" skillet over medium. Cook until garlic is golden, 4–6 minutes; transfer to a bowl and let cool. Wipe skillet clean and heat canola oil over medium-high; fry peppers until blistered and slightly crisp, 4–6 minutes. Transfer peppers to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Stir almonds, 1 cup parsley, the chocolate, sherry, salt, and pepper into reserved garlic oil; spread onto a serving platter. Top with cauliflower; garnish with fried peppers and remaining parsley.