In this recipe, the clean, herbal, citrusy hot flavor of piri piri is set in contrast against earthy and rich ingredients for a powerfully flavored weeknight meal. The starchy sweetness of roasted cauliflower is the perfect vessel to bring out all of the nuances of this high-octane pepper.
- 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground piri piri chili (less if you don’t like heat)
- Sea salt
- ½ cup freekah
- 6 oil-cured anchovy fillets
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups arugula
- Juice of ½ lemon (1 to 2 teaspoons)
- ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the cauliflower florets and bay leaves in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine ¼ cup of the olive oil and the ground piri piri chili. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Transfer the cauliflower to a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with salt. Roast, stirring once, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cauliflower is browned around the edges. Discard the bay leaves and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the freekah and 1½ cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a skillet, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Add the anchovies and garlic and cook until anchovies are dissolved in the oil, about 3 minutes. Add the red onion and cook until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes. In a large bowl, add the roasted cauliflower, cooked freekah and the hot contents of the skillet (use a spatula to scrape out all the oil and browned bits). Add the arugula and the lemon juice and stir for a minute, until everything is nicely coated and the arugula has wilted slightly. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano, and season with additional salt to taste. Divide between bowls and serve with additional cheese on the side.
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