Chou-fleur Rouge

Cauliflower, Potatoes, and Onions Simmered with Tomatoes and Saffron

With its subtle counterpoint of flavors, this is one of the most interesting of vegetable stews. The cauliflower should remain crisp and the potato slices firm. The vegetables are delicious as a hot first course or as an accompaniment for plain broiled fish or meat.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 small white onions, minced, or scallion cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 5 tomatoes (canned or fresh), chopped
  • 2 heads cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • a pinch of freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Spanish saffron
  • 4 large or 6 medium-sized potatoes, sliced


Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and sauté the onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat until they begin to bubble. Add the cauliflower and lower the flame. Add salt, pepper, and saffron (crush between your fingers and sprinkle). Cook, uncovered, over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add about ½ cup water if the dish becomes dry. Add the potatoes and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes, adding more water if necessary, until the potatoes are just cooked. Check the seasoning and serve.