In 2014, global production of cauliflower (together with broccoli) was 24.2 million tons, an 8 percent increase over 2013 world production.

Believe it or not, China and India together accounted for 74 percent of the total production. Secondary producers were the United States, Spain, Mexico and Italy.

This East Indian-style cauliflower dish can be served hot or cold. Paired with a white wine in the Alsace tradition, this combination will be both pleasing to the eye and the palate.

Curried Cauliflower With Golden Raisins and Almonds

1 head of cauliflower, about 2 to 2½ lbs.

¼ c. canola oil

1 Tbsp. curry powder or garam masala

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

½ c. brandy or grape juice

½ c. golden raisins

½ c. almonds, slivered or whole

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut cauliflower in half and cut out the core. Break up the head into florets, cutting larger ones into smaller, bite-sized pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl.

Toss cauliflower with oil, curry powder, salt and pepper, then spread cauliflower out onto a baking sheet.

Roast for about 35 to 45 minutes, stirring once, or until a paring knife can easily pierce a thick stem.

Meanwhile, bring brandy and raisins to a simmer in a small pan. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

In a small frying pan, toast almonds over medium-high heat, tossing until toasted lightly and evenly.

To serve, arrange curried cauliflower in a serving dish.

Top with raisins and toasted almonds, and crushed red peppers if desired.

This cauliflower dish can be served as a cold dish.

Pair this with Lucas & Lewellen’s 2016 Santa Barbara County Gewurztraminer.

Made from grapes carefully tended in a small section of their Los Alamos vineyard in Santa Barbara County, this gewurztraminer comes from old vines recently grafted to the variety. This vineyard produces grapes with the elegance, balance and intrigue suitable for making this dry, aromatic wine with great depth. This brilliant wine is crisp and delicate emitting distinct aromas of flowers: rose petals, lavender, gardenia and jasmine. The perfume of this wine is deepened by notes of sandalwood, nutmeg and lemon.

You might also try this with Santa Barbara Winery’s 2014 Alisos Vineyard Gewurztraminer.

The Alisos Vineyard is in the Los Alamos Valley, a very cool growing region, which is what the varietal prefers. The wine was made in the traditional Alsatian method, fermented to dryness. Gewurztraminers are extremely aromatic and pair nicely with spicy dishes. The wine was fermented completely dry to make it very versatile with different foods. It is aromatic with spice overtones. Gold Medal 93 Points -- 2016 Monterey Wine Competition.

Either way, the light and spicy character of gewurztraminer will complement the curry and cleanse the palate at the same time.


John David Finley is a freelance writer and author of the cookbook "Sacred Meals from our Family Table," which features Santa Barbara County wines. He can be reached at