5 tablespoons pine nuts
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
1 large head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Toast the pine nuts in a small dry skillet over very low heat, stirring constantly, until they turn a pale tan color and give off their rich aroma, 3-5 minutes. Watch them carefully because pine nuts burn very quickly if they get too hot. Set them aside.
For the brown butter, use a small skillet or saucepan that is not aluminum and does not have a dark bottom, so you can track the changes in the color of the butter. Melt the butter in the skillet over low to medium heat. It will foam and bubble, and the trick is to keep the heat low enough so that it does not overflow the skillet and does not burn while it continues to brown. The milky particles will darken and sink to the bottom, but should not blacken. The butter will turn a golden brown color, with a wonderful rich flavor. Set the brown butter aside in the warm skillet.
Bring water to a simmer in the bottom of a vegetable steamer. Add the cauliflower to the steamer basket, cover, and steam until it is just tender when pierced with a knife, about 5 minutes.
Place the cauliflower in a warmed bowl and drizzle the brown butter over it. Scatter the toasted pine nuts on top, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook" by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman (2013 Workman)