Cauliflower-Fennel Saute with Spinach and Olives

Cauliflower is very popular right now as a rice substitute, but it also makes a nice substitute for meat or tofu.  I like to chop it up small — but not as small as rice — and saute it over high heat until it browns.  Unlike broccoli, it retains its texture when cooked this way.

Separate the sheaths of 1 head of Fennel, then clean and trim them.  Thinly slice the sheaths and then chop them.

Saute the fennel over medium heat in 3 T. olive oil with a dash of hot chile flakes.

Meanwhile trim 2 small or 1 medium heads of cauliflower and remove the cores with a paring knife.  Slice down into the heads from the outside edge in until you hit the core, then repeat on the other 3 sides.  Chop the sliced cauliflower again to make small pieces, around the size of a garbanzo bean.

When the fennel is soft, raise the heat and add the cauliflower.  Sprinkle generously with salt and saute while stirring.

Chop or dice 1 C. kalamata or other gourmet black or brown pitted olives.  When the cauliflower is beginning to brown, add the olives to the pan along with 1 T. of their brine and continue sauteing.  You want the cauiflower to be nicely browned and tender but not too soft.

Add 2 C. washed and dried spinach leaves.  Stir to combine and then cook until just wilted.

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