New Mexican Roasted Cauliflower with Mango Chile Sauce & Slaw

Written by Eydie Desser

Southwestern cuisine is so inventive and full of flavor, thanks to the use of dozens of different types of chilies grown there.  Pasilla, a sweet tasing pepper, mango for the tang, and habañero for the spicy element, bring  this roasted cauliflower to a whole new level  The recipe adds lots of healthy goodness, all wrapped up  into a “pow” of flavor!  It has  a little kick, but not too much— unless you’re like me, and you want to add more habañero!  The Jicama & Apple ColeSlaw adds a crispy brightness and goes beautifully with the Cauliflower.  

By the way, I like my food, and my life, Spicy!!!  How about you?

Note:  This is a multi-step recipe, so make it easy on yourself.  Make the apple coleslaw the day before to let the flavors meld.  You can even make the sauce and steam the cauliflower  the day before you serve it.  Be sure to cover and refrigerate it all.

Serving day:  bring steamed cauliflower to room temperature, warm sauce in a sauce pan and baste the cauliflower with the sauce.  Bake and serve.

Ingredients

For the Cauliflower and Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 small-medium sized cauliflower heads (about 6” in diameter and 3- 4” high), leaves and  stem sliced off, so cauliflower sits flat in a stock pot. 
  • 1-1/2 medium white or yellow onions, (12 oz.) finely diced
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • ½ – 1 small orange habañero pepper, seeds removed and minced
  • 4-1/2 TB cider vinegar
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 2 dried Pasilla peppers, stem and seeds removed, and puréed (see directions below)
  • 1-1/2 large red Mangoes, pitted, peeled and puréed in a small blender (1 cup puréed)  
  • 1-1/2 cup GOE Veggie stock, or other no-salt vegetable stock
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • Juice of 1-1/2 orange (Valencia if you can get it, otherwise, navel orange is fine)
  • 1-½ TB dry mustard
  • 1-½ TB Dijon mustard or no salt Westbrae mustard


For the Jicama and Apple Cole slaw

  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 large crispy, sweet red apple, seeded and finely diced
  • ½ cup grated carrots from (1) small carrot
  • 4 oz. jicama, peeled, sliced and julienned
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced, or julienned
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced, or julienned
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and grated
  • 1 jalapeño, or more if you like it spicy, seeded and finely minced
  • 2 TB fresh lime juice, or more to taste
  • 2 TB honey
  • 1 TB sherry vinegar, or raspberry vinegar, or apple cider vinegar…whatever you wish

Instructions

Make The Apple Coleslaw:

1- Combine all of the prepared vegetables in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly.  

2- Make the dressing: into a small measuring cup or bowl add the lime juice, honey and vinegar.  Stir until the honey has completely combined with the liquids.

3- Pour over the slaw, mix thoroughly and chill for several hours or overnight before serving.


Make The Mango Chile Sauce:

1- Make the Pasilla purèe:  place 2 dried Pasilla peppers, stems and seeds removed,  in a 1 cup glass measuring cup.  Boil 1 cup of water and pour over the dried peppers.  Let sit for 10-20 minutes, or until the Pasilla peppers are soft and have completely rehydrated.  Place the peppers in a small food processor or blender with 2 TB of reserved soaking liquid, and purée.

2- Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat for a couple of minutes.  

3- Add onion and dry sauté, stirring continuously for a minute or two.  Cover pan with lid, turn heat down to medium low, and let the onion sweat.  After a minute or two, uncover, give it a stir and add garlic and habañero pepper and stir until softened, about a minute.

4- Increase temperature to medium high, add cider vinegar, dates and 1-1/2 TB Pasilla purée and cook until thickened, and the date is melted into mixture.

5- Add mango purée and vegetable stock.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  

6- Whisk in  lime juice, orange juice, dry mustard and dijon or Westbrae.  Simmer for another 3 minutes.


Steam The Cauliflower:

1- Using a paring knife, dig into the flattened stem of the cauliflower to remove some of its interior, which will allow steam to penetrate the bottom of the cauliflower head.

2- Boil 3 cups of water in a tea kettle.

3- Place prepared cauliflower heads in a 12” saucepan or Dutch oven with  3-4” high sides over medium high heat.  Pour in enough boiling water to reach 1” high.  Cover and steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes, or until cooked through and soft enough for a skewer to pierce through easily, with just a bit of give, but not falling apart. 

4- Remove the cauliflower from the pan to a wooden board.  Discard the water in the pan.  The cauliflower will be put back in the pan before roasting.

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