Southern Italian Cauliflower with Fried Bread Crumbs, Capers and Anchovies

I can't think of a better way to eat cauliflower than this masterpiece! Flavorful without a lot of fat, varied textures from crisp bread crumbs to chewy raisins to just tender cauliflower.

Don't be alarmed by the number of ingredients, most of which can be stocked on hand. Capers and anchovies can be kept in the refrigerator almost indefinitely. Pine nuts can be stored in the freezer in an air-tight container for 3 months. There's nothing complicated in terms of cooking techniques either and once you've prepped the ingredients, the actual cooking time is fast.

Feel free to improvise.This time around, I had a few pimento-stuffed olives that I wanted to finish off, so I chopped them up and tossed them in with the other topping ingredients. If you like a little heat, you can also add some dried red pepper flakes. Deelish!

Southern Italian Cauliflower with Fried Bread Crumbs, Capers and Anchovies
Adapted from Plenty by Diana Henry 
Serves 4-5 as a side dish

Prep the following:
1 cauliflower, broken into florets
1 slice stale ciabatta or focaccia, broken into coarse crumbs (you can pulse bread in a food processor)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp capers
8 salt-cured anchovies, drained and coarsely chopped (oil-packed works, too)
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, cut in half crosswise

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Remove about 1/4 cup boiling water and place in a small heat-proof bowl. Add to small bowl and soak for 15 minutes:
1/4 cup raisins or currants
Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile in large pot, cook cauliflower florets in boiling water until just tender (insert tip of paring knife to test).  Drain well (if it's wet it ruins the bread crumbs).

While the cauliflower cooks, prepare the topping. Heat in a large skillet (I like our cast-iron pan):
2 tbsp olive oil
Fry bread crumbs until just starting to brown. Add garlic to skillet and cook another minute or so; then add capers, anchovies, pine nuts and raisins. Cook for another minute. Add cauliflower and saute until it starts to brown a bit. Add chopped parsley and give a quick stir to combine everything. Taste first before seasoning with salt (because of capers and anchovies).

Transfer everything to serving dish, squeeze some lemon juice over and drizzle with:
Extra-virgin olive oil

Serve immediately.

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