Cauliflower Panzanella

September 20, 2011

Author Notes: Roasting cauliflower makes it delicious, especially when dressed with an anchovy vinaigrette. You've seen the recipes that lighten up mashed potatoes and mac & cheese with cauliflower, why not try the same tack with panzanella? Read more here:

Serves: 4


For the cauliflower

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1/2 pound day old country-style bread (approximate)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

for the vinaigrette

  • 2-3 anchovy filets
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut or break cauliflower into florets and spread in a single layer in a roasting pan or casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper, and use your hands to mix well. Tear (or cut) up your bread into rough pieces, about the size of large croutons or even larger. Arrange on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan.
  2. When the oven is hot, place both trays in the oven. Toast the bread for about 10 minutes, remove from the oven, stir the cauliflower and continue to roast until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork, turning a pale golden brown, even charring in spots, about 15-20 minutes more (25-30 minutes in total). (Note that it is not essential to toast the bread, but I went ahead with it because my oven was being used anyway. I might have skipped this step if not roasting the cauliflower as well).
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the vinaigrette. If you have a blender, or mini food processor, put all the ingredients into your mixer (breaking up the anchovies with your hands a bit) and process until emulsified. If you don’t have a mixer to use, mince the anchovies as if you were mincing garlic (it will start to form something like a paste) and mix together with the lemon juice and garlic. Whisk in the oil in a stream to emulsify and make the dressing. Taste and correct seasonings (I had to add more salt, as I was wary of adding much at the beginning, knowing that anchovies themselves are very salty).

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