aromatic cauliflower: origins from the house of medici

March 18, 2014
Author Notes

An authentic Italian recipe from the 13th century found in a wonderful cookbook titled "From the Art of the Medicis to the Tables of Today” by Carla Geri Camporesi and Barbara Golini. I am working on trying many of the other recipes in this historical and interesting cookbook about one of Italy's most famous historical families. This recipe is a perfect example of using simple ingredients filled with lots of flavor.
cucina di mammina

  • Serves 4
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 small red chili (finely chopped); with seeds or seeds removed to taste (or chili flake to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons or so extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup or so of water
In This Recipe
  1. Wash (do not dry) and trim the cauliflower tips into small to medium size segments.
  2. Put the cauliflower pieces into a large wide saucepan with olive oil, garlic cloves, rosemary leaves and chili (finely chopped or flakes.)
  3. Brown the cauliflower for about 10 minutes or so until slightly tender.
  4. Add in the tomato paste, 2 tbsp. of water and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix well and allow to cook on medium low heat, uncovered. Allow to cook, add more water as needed when liquid evaporates.
  6. The cooking process should take about 20 minutes or so (adding small amounts of water as needed.)
  7. Check for doneness by piercing with a fork, cauliflower should be cooked through and tender to the touch.
  8. Remove from heat; adjust seasonings if needed. Serve immediately as an accompaniment to roasted or poached meats.
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