This is an interesting, pretty dish. The pesto really clings to the cauliflower florets, and it makes them beautiful. The pesto is really bitter and salty which complements the sweetness the cauliflower takes on when it is cooked. I think it might be interesting to add some dried fruit to this dish. I basically started with this recipe and modified it based on what I had on hand and the quantities that I had (I didn’t have as many green olives as the original calls for). I also didn’t make a full pesto: I just used my food processor to grind up the olives and radish greens. The olive oil and nuts are separate components in the recipe. This worked because the moisture in the green olives is enough to thin out the paste. You could also try to add oil and the nuts to the paste and see how it alters the recipe.
1/2 pound of whole wheat linguine
1 cup radish greens (about 10 radishes), washed well
3/4 cup of green olives (mine were pimiento stuffed, nothing fancy)
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 garlic scape or a few cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a pinch of crushed red pepper
3 T. olive oil
2-4 T. romano cheese
3/4 cup whole almonds (skins on), toasted and coarsely chopped
1. Put water on to boil. Use a food processor (or method of your choice) to grind the radish greens and green olives into a paste.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, garlic scape, and crushed red pepper to pan. When pasta water is boiling, add the pasta to the water. Saute cauliflower about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is soft and brown on some of the edges.
3. When pasta is finished, drain pasta, reserving at least one cup of cooking water.
4. When cauliflower is soft and cooked to desired doneness, add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet. Add the radish green and green olive paste and cook for a couple minutes, until sauce heats through. Add the pasta to the skillet and stir until everything is well coated. If it seems too dry, add more pasta water and olive oil until it looks ready to eat.
5. Remove from heat. Stir in the Romano cheese and almonds. Serve immediately. I think it would be great with a crisp white wine (but I didn’t actually try this–none was open).