On the occasion of a birthday party for one of my Tuesday night movie friends, this particular dish we tasted at one of Los Angeles’s top restaurants, Hatfield’s, was most memorable. The dish impressed me so much that I came home determined to make it. One of the key ingredients is still eluding me, so I substituted mashed potatoes instead. I will make the dish again when I find a source for salsify.
In the mean time the dish turned out great with mashed potatoes and my family enjoyed it. I have made it twice now, and already, I am starting to make other modified versions. Last week as Passover started to loom large in my mind, it occurred to me that this dish would be kosher for Passover as well. Does anyone remember the little Ladino ditty about Purim that went, Purim Purim Lanu, Pesach En La Mano….?
1 head of cauliflower, cleaned and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ripe plantain
2 Yukon Gold potatoes
1/3 cup Sultana raisins
1 cup boiling water
1 bunch of Italian parsley, washed and dried
4 Shitake mushrooms, cleaned with stems cut off (optional)
Cut the cauliflower in to large florets, along the natural breaks. Season with salt and rub with olive oil. Place the cauliflower in a baking dish and roast in a 400° oven until very golden. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and set aside.
While the cauliflower roasts, peel the plantain. Slice the plantain into spears and then into ½ inch cubes. Place the safflower oil in a deep sauté pan to about 1/3 inch deep. Heat the oil until medium high. Add the plantains in batches. Give them a stir with a slotted spoon after a moment of frying and continue to fry until they turn golden. Add the next batch of diced plantain and repeat the procedure. Set the fried plantains on paper towels to drain, season with a little salt and set aside.
Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice them in one quarter inch thick slices and place the potatoes in a small saucepan. Cover the potatoes with cold water and place them on the stove to boil. Once you can pierce the boiling potatoes easily with a fork remove the potatoes from the heat and drain most of the water. Leave enough water in the pan to mash the potatoes. If you prefer a richer mashed potato, you may add butter and milk or cream to the mash. Mash the potatoes, adding salt to taste. Place the lid back on the potatoes and keep warm while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
As an option you can sauté some shitake mushrooms in a little olive oil to garnish the dish.
Lastly to assemble the dish, place the mashed potatoes on the bottom of your serving dish. Spread the potatoes with the back of a large spoon. Place the cauliflower pieces over the mashed potatoes, then the plantains and sultanas. Garnish with the crispy parsley and optional Shitakes and serve.