Last weekend, I flipped through the A16 book looking for something interesting and seasonal for a dinner meal. I decided on a braised fish dish and this warm roasted potato salad to go on the side. The fish was fine, we were happy with it, but it wasn’t something I was compelled to shout about from the rooftops. This potato and cauliflower dish, however, was very shout-worthy. Kurt and I agreed this was a big winner, and then we raced back to the kitchen for seconds.
Chunks of potatoes were tossed with olive oil and salt and then roasted in a 450 F oven. Throughout this book, it's common that seasoning will be with salt only if chile flakes are used later in the dish. The cauliflower was chopped into florets and tossed with a generous quarter cup of olive oil and some salt. It was then sauteed with that oil until the cauliflower just started to brown. Then, the saute pan went into the oven where the cauliflower roasted until browned but not limp. As the vegetables roasted, more olive oil was heated in a saucepan. Capers were fried in it, and then chile flakes were added with sliced red onion. When the onion had softened, the mixture was taken off the heat, and red wine vinegar was stirred into it. That mixture was the warm dressing which was then tossed with the roasted potatoes and cauliflower.
It’s a simple combination of things that obviously go together well, but the olive oil and careful seasoning at each step and the warm caper, chile, onion, vinegar dressing all made it outstanding. As I said, this was the highlight of our meal served warm and crisp just from the oven. However, this could also be made in advance and served at room temperature. As a third option, if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers the next day, it’s also delicious as a cold salad taken right from the refrigerator and topped with tuna.