So a couple things. Firstly, despite this recipe’s fancy French name, this is really easy to prepare…and healthy and bursting with flavor. This recipe is actually a cross between two techniques. The first, poêle, where foods are cooked with no liquid in a covered pot and basted with butter (poêle is the French word for stove), and the second, aglio e olio, which is Italian for oil and garlic, which are two of my favorite ingredients. Nearly any food can be cooked this way–slowly steamed and cooked in oil and it’s own juices–but the key here is slow. If the heat is too high the food may burn before it is cooked, or at the very least will not draw out their natural flavors. And yes, leave the garlic cloves whole and onions cut into big chunks…cooking them this way will impart the dish with richness and they will literally melt in your mouth.
Asparagus and Cauliflower Braised in Olive Oil
¼ cup olive oil
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into six pieces
6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
¼ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the remaining ingredients to the pan. Cover the skillet with a lid and lower the heat. Cook the vegetables for about 15 minutes very slowly. Every few minutes remove the lid and turn them in the oil. If the asparagus cooks too quickly remove it to a plate while the cauliflower, onions, and garlic brown. Transfer all the ingredients to a serving platter and serve hot or at room temperature.