Cauliflower Popcorn

4 servings
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and broken into 1" florets
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup leftover Chardonnay

Place pine nuts in a dry skillet and toast over medium-high heat, shaking pan frequently, until browned and fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Remove from hot pan and set aside to cool completely then coarsely chop.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add cauliflower and boil for 3 minutes.Drain and then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine 2 tablespoons butter and the olive oil in a large skillet and heat on medium high until butter is foaming. Add blanched cauliflower and season with salt, pepper and sugar. Cook without stirring for the first 3-5 minutes to allow cauliflower to caramelize on one side, then stir to turn cauliflower and continue cooking until uniformly caramelized, another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Pour Chardonnay into pan, turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon until liquid is reduced by half and slightly thickened. Remove pan from heat and swirl in butter. Pour sauce over cauliflower and stir to coat. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

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