I saw this recipe for cauliflower with tomatoes and pimenton in the New York Times earlier this year and it has become one of my go-to recipes whenever I have any cauliflower on hand. The sweetness of the cauliflower, which melts into the rest of the dish as it softens, is perfectly complemented by the sweetness in the pimenton. The tomatoes lend some acidity to the dish and provide a base for the paprika. I love the smokiness of the paprika, so mix hot and sweet so I can up the flavor ante without burning my mouth.
The original recipe was pure vegetable, but I have taken to adding some chickpeas to make it a one-dish meal in and of itself. Below is my slightly amended, but filling and extremely satisfying version.
Cauliflower with paprika and chickpeas
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed
1 T. olive oil
1 mild dried chile, optional
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 can chopped tomatoes plus juice
1 T. sweet paprika (or hot paprika, or a mix)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish, optional.
Chop cauliflower into florets, then place in a covered bowl with a spoonful of water and microwave until soft, about 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan and add onion and chile, if using. Cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and let soften, about 2 minutes, then add paprika.
Add tomato, chickpeas and cauliflower and cook, mashing cauliflower a bit, until cauliflower is coated with sauce and chickpeas are hot. Garnish.
Serves 2 as main dish.