It seems I have made piccata for the blog more than a few times but it's probably all in my head as I can only find it HERE. My memory lags probably because I make it for home at least every few months. The family loves Seitan Piccata and because it is a very easy dish to throw together (given you have seitan handy), I'm all for it.
The usual mashed potatoes are the accompaniment and maybe a vegetable sneaks in there, such as steamed green beans, but this time around I wanted to make it without seitan.
The flavor affinities of cauliflower + chickpeas + lemon + sweet potatoes + greens is a winner and I instantly wanted to transform these ingredients into one cohesive dish. The sauce for the piccata has only 9 ingredients, plus the cauliflower and chickpeas.
While I served this bowl-style, with the addition of sweet potatoes and greens, you can by all means ignore my suggestion and go with the standard mashed potatoes and green beans.
Roasting the sweet potatoes is the first order of business as preheating the oven and cooking the tubers will take the longest.
The next longest step is cooking the collard greens, so get them on the stove and you can essentially forget about them.
In this recipe I treated the cauliflower a little differently. I simply sauteed and seared the pieces until they were tender and golden. Cover the cauliflower as it cooks over low heat and it will not only sear but cook all the way through. Definitely a fantastic way to treat this vegetable! A little seasoning of salt and black pepper and I could eat them all day long. I might, if given the chance.
Finally, the sauce is made. This step goes pretty fast after the chickpeas are done sauteing so it might be a good idea to have everything ready to go once the chickpeas are golden brown.
This is the best dish to eat all these seasonal produce in: cauliflower, sweet potatoes, collard greens and lemon.
There it is! Gluten free (if using rice flour), nutritious, pretty and delicious.
Seared Cauliflower and Chickpea Piccata
Prep and cook in 40 minutes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch half-moons
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper
8 ounces collard greens, tough stems removed and cut into ribbons
1/4 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small head cauliflower, cut into 1/2 -inch slices (as best as you can)
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, cut into thin slices
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour or rice flour
1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth**
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoon capers
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1. Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 425-degrees F. Combine the potatoes and oil on a baking sheet and season with salt and black pepper. Bake the potatoes until golden and tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, flipping the potatoes midway through cooking. Lightly mash with a potato masher.
2. Collards: Combine the collards and onion in a medium pot. Add enough water to cover the collards well. Cooking the collards in plenty of water will reduce their bitterness. Season with salt and black pepper and cook until tender over medium heat, about 20 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
3. Cauliflower: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower slices (and the pieces that fell away when slicing), cover the skillet with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until golden, about 9 minutes. Flip the pieces and cook the other side until golden and the cauliflower is tender, another 9 minutes. Remove from the skillet and keep warm.
4. Sauce: Heat the now empty skillet over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and cook until they are dry, about 3 minutes. Add the oil and cook until the chickpeas are golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and mix well. Add the wine and cook until the wine almost evaporates completely. Add the broth and capers and cook until the broth is reduced by half and thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved cauliflower, lemon juice and parsley. Cook until the cauliflower is warmed through. Season with salt and black pepper.
5. Assembly: Serve the mashed sweet potatoes with the collards and piccata. Spoon a little of the sauce onto each serving.
** Wine substitute: Soak 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes in 1 cup of hot vegetable broth. Set aside to rehydrate and infuse the broth with the flavor for at least 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze the tomatoes of their liquid.
© 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.