This cauliflower dish from chef-owner Samer Elias of Sam’s by the Beach in Santa Monica Canyon was a highlight when I had dinner there recently. When he gave us the recipe, Sam told us it tastes even better the day after it is cooked -- we tested it, and agreed completely. We look forward to bringing it to our next picnic.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the cauliflower, stir well and cook over medium-low heat, stirring gently from time to time, until golden in color and sweet in smell, about 25 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low; add a pinch of pepper and the water and lemon juice. Simmer for a few minutes until most of the water has been absorbed, stirring gently. Turn the heat off, sprinkle the cilantro over the cauliflower and add salt to taste. Stir and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving, or refrigerate overnight. Serve at room temperature.