This combination of ingredients—nutty brown butter, salty capers, sweet raisins, and cauliflower—was inspired by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who has been serving it as a sauce for scallops at his restaurant Jean-Georges since it opened in 1997. He simply isn’t allowed to take it off the menu—the mix of flavors is just too magical. Here I’ve nixed the scallops and focused on the cauliflower, roasting it until it is well caramelized, then topping it with the brown butter mixture. Or if you’d like to reclaim those lost scallops, add some to the brown butter along with the raisins and sauté them for a couple of minutes, until just cooked through. It’s a slightly different end result from Jean-Georges’s crisp and brown seared scallops, but easier to do at home and still compelling to eat.
You can refresh the raisins with boiling water up to 1 day ahead. Store them in a container at room temperature.
- Heat the oven to 425°F.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together the cauliflower, oil, and salt. Roast until the cauliflower is caramelized, 30 to 35 minutes, tossing it once more halfway through.
- Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the pine nuts and cook, tossing them frequently, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate.
- Return the skillet to medium heat and melt the butter in it. Continue cooking, swirling the skillet occasionally, until the butter is brown and nutty, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and continue to swirl it occasionally as it cools; the butter will continue to cook as it sits; swirling helps prevent overbrowning.
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small pot or kettle. Put the raisins in a mesh strainer and then pour the boiling water over them. Let the drained raisins cool for 5 minutes, then pat them dry and stir them into the browned butter. Add the nutmeg to the brown butter as well.
- When the cauliflower comes out of the oven, pour the brown butter, toasted pine nuts, and capers over it on the baking sheet. Toss to combine, then scrape the mixture onto a serving platter. Top with the parsley and more salt, and serve with lemon wedges.
Reprinted from Dinner in French. Copyright © 2020 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Laura Edwards. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.