Jamie's recipe for whole baked cauliflower with tomato and olive sauce intrigued me because the photo makes the dish look quite exciting. Jamie says he made it up; my mother claims to have eaten similar-style dishes in France in the 1990s, although perhaps not with olives. Anyway, to make this, first you find a pan in which the whole head of cauliflower will fit and leave an inch around the sides. The first saucepan I pulled out of the cupboard fitted, which was a good start. Put the pan on the heat, add olive oil and chopped garlic, red onion, the chopped up cauliflower stalk and parsley stalks, and fry for 10 mins or so until softened. Add pitted olives, and sliced anchovy fillets and fry for another couple of minutes before adding tinned plum tomatoes, water, and red wine vinegar and bringing to the boil. Push the cauliflower gently into the middle of the pan; if the pan is the right size, half the cauliflower will be in the sauce and half above it. Drizzle with olive oil, put the lid on the pan, and simmer for 50 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley leaves.
My cauliflower was more stressful than the above method might suggest, because I seemed to have bought an inordinately squat cauliflower, so more than half submerged into the liquid. I then began to obsess about the cauliflower sinking into the liquid, but it thankfully didn't - possibly because I kept the heat incredibly low. So low that in future I will simmer the tomato sauce a bit before adding the cauli, so that it begins to thicken and reduce at the start. That said, this was very nice and tasty. You could taste the olives, so olive-haters (who seem to be even more ubiquitous than fennel-haters) should probably miss them out; I'm sure it would still taste okay, though I like the taste of the olives.
I served this with a pork chop that had been rubbed with a dry spice mix that my brother gave me a while ago.
Another yummy dinner! I'd never have thought of cooking cauliflower like that but it is tasty and probably better for you than cauliflower cheese. The vegetables in this book are a real revelation.