Retro Redux

Continental cuisine for the 21st century

Cauliflower is hardly a glamorous ingredient, but Bruce Binn has demonstrated that the right preparation can turn the vegetable into a sophisticated dish. At San Francisco's new Thermidor, the chef serves a modernized Continental menu (think chicken Kiev and baked Alaska) in a Mad Men-era-inspired dining room. There, Binn deep-fries cauliflower florets until they're crispy, then tosses them with lemon juice, mint and red-pepper flakes. At home, a quick sauté will work equally well–and have you looking at the vegetable in a whole new light.

Recipe adapted from Bruce Binn, Thermidor, San Francisco

Crispy Cauliflower With Lemon And Mint
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Crispy cauliflower recipe from chef Bruce Binn of Thermidor restaurant in SF
Servings
4
side-dish or appetizer servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into small florets
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 4 mint leaves, torn
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Transfer the cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet and roast, rotating the baking sheet and stirring the cauliflower halfway through, until the edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the cauliflower and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until crispy and warmed through, about 4 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the lemon juice, pepper flakes and mint. Season with salt and serve immediately.
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