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Cauliflower “Caviar” with Frizzled Prosciutto

A while back, we had some friends over for a dinner party. I made some homemade bread and my grandpa’s beef stew, but wanted to try out a new appetizer to pair with some of the delicious wine that Rodney Strong Vineyards sent over.

Cauliflower "Caviar" with Frizzled Prosciutto

I’m not a huge fan of endive typically, because it’s very bitter. But the shape of the leaves is just so perfect for appetizers like this one, so I tried the recipe anyhow. And I’m glad I did!

Nutty, roasted cauliflower is tossed with a mix of garlic, prosciutto and parsley and simply dressed with sherry vinegar for a warm, salty, tangy bite of food nestled inside an endive leaf.

Cauliflower "Caviar" with Frizzled Prosciutto

They were a bit tricky to keep from tipping over on the platter, but they were absolutely delicious. Our dinner guests loved them, and they disappeared in a flash!

This is definitely a nice option for an impressive appetizer that is so much more than the sum of its parts. And the fact that you can serve it at room temperature is a nice bonus because it can be made in advance.

Cauliflower "Caviar" with Frizzled Prosciutto

This appetizer paired beautifully with the crisp Chardonnay. It was a wonderful way to start our meal!

Cauliflower “Caviar” with Frizzled Prosciutto
Cooking Light November 2010
Mark Bittman

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 2 filled leaves)

4 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower florets (about 2 pounds)
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces prosciutto, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
24 Belgian endive leaves (about 2 small heads)

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Arrange cauliflower florets in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with black pepper and kosher salt, tossing to combine. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until cauliflower is lightly browned.

3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto to pan; sauté 10 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Add garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.

4. Combine cauliflower mixture, prosciutto mixture, and vinegar in a large bowl; coarsely mash with a fork. Stir in chopped parsley. Spoon 2 tablespoons cauliflower mixture into each endive leaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.

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