Braised Whole Cauliflower with North African Spices

Total time: 45 minutes

Source: Mediterranean Instant Pot

Serves: 4 to 6

Hey guys, I got an Instant Pot! I held off for sooo long. “But it does all of these things!” “Yeah, but ATK says it doesn’t do any of them as well as the standalone appliance and the only one we don’t already have is a pressure cooker.” “There are so many good recipes in the Instant Pot group!” “I like my ATK recipes.” And then there was the fact that ATK didn’t even choose the Instant Pot as their recommended multicooker and their recommended one didn’t go one sale like the Instant Pot did, and that a lot of Instant Pot recipes are for the 6 quart version and serve four, and I was routinely serving five or six people.

And then ATK announced Mediterranean Instant Pot, and I was confused. They didn’t even recommend the Instant Pot… I checked and checked and checked their reviews, and then one day, there it was: Instant Pot had released a new model and they fixed their slow-cooker issue. So I considered it. And then I found a great Black Friday deal on an 8 quart Instant Pot, but it turned out to be the wrong one. But then I found a pretty good Black Friday deal on the right 8 quart Instant Pot, so I bought it.

I’m far from an Instant Pot fanatic, but I am using it frequently to see if I can replace my rice-cooker with it. If I can switch it out for something instead of just needing even more space for kitchen stuff, I’ll feel better about it.

Anyway, enough general thoughts about the Instant Pot. This recipe. Guys, this is a whole cauliflower. The recipe says to cook at high pressure for THREE MINUTES. What the heck? Granted, it takes time for the pressure cooker to come to pressure so it’s not only cooking for three minutes, and I probably would have liked it a touch better if I had given it an extra minute, but this thing cooks vegetables SO quickly. I did a butternut squash recipe in it and was similarly amazed.

Cooking time and method aside, the flavors on this were really nice. We had it with rice (which I had made to go with the mapo tofu, because I can’t use the Instant Pot to make rice and the main dish at the same time), and the sauce was really nice just with the rice. It wasn’t spicy at all, but well spiced with nice warmth. Since the anchovies were optional, I left them out because I hate buying a whole tin of anchovies just for 1-3 anchovies. If anyone has any tips on storing anchovies so that I don’t throw away the rest of the tin of anchovies all the time, I’m all ears.

This was our last night of eating without the boys (and actually they came home early so they ate Christmas leftovers that night), and I made it for one of our nights without them because it said it served four, but my cauliflower was only 2.5 lbs instead of 3 and we still ate just over half of it between the three of us. We could have made it serve five, and I think with a big enough cauliflower, it would have served six.


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