Versatile. That's what we're going with today. You probably won't find this recipe in any book and while I've seen a few versions of it online, I've added my own twist to it and it's with great pleasure that I share it with you.
Comfort food on a cold winter night? Yup. Light side dish (with chicken or meat as the main attraction)? Definitely. My mom used to mash it lightly and place it in a roll for a lunch-time sandwich. (The lunches I brought to school growing up in Brooklyn were a little out of the ordinary, to say the least.) 5 ingredients or less? Yes. And, ta-da! It's vegan. So here goes:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 head of cauliflower cut into six to eight pieces
2 large or 4 small to medium potatoes (Russet is preferable but any variety will do) cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
25 ounces of V-8 or one 8oz can of tomato sauce diluted with 15 ounces of water
salt and pepper to taste
lemon to taste
Start with half the extra virgin olive oil in a large wide-bottomed heavy saucepan. Toss the potatoes in and lightly brown in the EVOO on all sides. Add EVOO as needed, keeping about 1/4 cup for the cauliflower. Remove and set aside.
Add the remaining EVOO to the pot, then add the cauliflower pieces and lightly brown on all sides. It's going to get splattery so use a splatter screen if you have one handy. And keep that overhead fan going.
Return the potatoes to the pot with the cauliflower, add the V-8 (or the diluted tomato sauce), and the allspice and let simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Enough time to check your emails or maybe watch a TED talk. (Stir once or twice and keep an eye on the liquid, it should cover the vegetables about half-way. If needed, add more water or V-8.)
(If you prefer not to have to work around the allspice on your plate, you can wrap the allspice in a small piece of cheesecloth before adding to the pot and remove before serving.)
When the potatoes are done, the dish is done. That's it. Salt and pepper to taste. It will look like the picture above.
Serve with lemon and your favorite bread. Feta is really nice with this as well.