Each time we head to Napa, we like to visit different wineries, but Cakebread is the one mainstay on our list. It's a definite must-go. After our first visit, many years ago, it was immediately clear to us that Cakebread is all about the wine. No fancy gimmicks or drawn out tours - just very knowledgeable employees and some really fantastic wine. Perhaps we adore them because on that first visit, while walking over to a tasting station, the workers were unloading crates of grapes, fresh picked from the vines, and dumping them right into the crusher. Our wine guide poured each of us a sampling from the freshly crushed grapes, and it was amazing!
I've been on their (e)mailing list for a while now, and one feature they have is a Recipe of the Month - a meal created to be enjoyed with a specific wine they produce. In October, that meal was designed for their chardonnay. We happened to have a bottle of 2007 Chardonnay patiently waiting to be enjoyed, so I thought I'd finally try out one of their recipe pairings with the Roasted Cauliflower with Dungeness Crab, Garlic, Lemon and Toasted Breadcrumbs. I messed around with the proportions a bit, as I think my head of cauliflower was on the small side, and my 6 ounce can of crab only yielded about 3.5 ounces of crab (yes, I used canned crab, but I live (for now) in the midwest so that's just the easiest way to go), and I went a little overboard with the breadcrumbs.
I loved making this - it was fast and easy, both of which are a huge plus when you have a great bottle of wine staring you down, waiting to be enjoyed. The lemon juice nicely complemented the subtle crab and crispy breadcrumbs. And of course, it went great with the chardonnay!
Roasted Cauliflower with Crab, Lemon, Garlic and Breadcrumbs
Source: Cakebread Cellars
- 1 head cauliflower, broken up in to large pieces
- 5 T. olive oil
- 1/2 c. coarse breadcrumbs*
- 1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 6 oz. Dungeness crab meat
- salt and pepper
- lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread out on a sheet pan or shallow casserole dish. Place in the center of the oven and roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring once or twice until cauliflower is tender and starting to brown in spots. While the cauliflower is roasting, toast the breadcrumbs in a small skillet. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet, add the breadcrumbs and toss until brown and crispy. Remove from the heat and place in a small bowl. Combine the garlic, parsley and lemon zest and mix to combine. To finish, remove the cauliflower from the oven, toss with the crabmeat and garlic, parsley mixture. Return to oven and roast for 4-5 minutes more. Squeeze lemon juice over top and sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs.
* It is preferable use homemade breadcrumbs from stale country style bread for this dish. The toasted breadcrumbs provide a crunchy contrast to the cauliflower that is not achievable with the finely ground breadcrumbs available in the grocery store. When sufficiently dry, pulse stale country style bread that has been cut up in the work bowl of a food processor until coarsely ground.