Spicy Italian-Style Cauliflower

I have never cooked cauliflower before. I didn’t even know if I liked it when it wasn’t breaded and fried. Turns out I do.

When I got the Williams-Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook and flipped through the pages, I knew I had to try their recipe for cauliflower. It seemed really easy and I already had most of the ingredients in my kitchen. I picked up a head of cauliflower on my way home from work and in a half hour, this dish was ready.

The result? A delicious, browned, somewhat-spicy dish with tons of flavor. I loved how the pieces of cauliflower were all different sizes, it definitely added to the texture of the dish.

The book says you can try this with broccoli, too, so I may have to try that next time.

I halved the recipe and there was barely enough for two people. Next time I’m going to make the whole recipe – if there are leftovers, they’ll probably be delicious as lunch. There may not be many leftovers, though. I’m giving you the whole recipe.


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped (I don’t like capers, so I omitted them)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less, to taste – I like spicy things, so I added a bit more)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped pitted olives, black or green (I used black but kinda wish I used green)


1. Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and trim off the end. Cut it into 1/2 inch slices from top to bottom. The cauliflower will break up as you slice it, leaving you with pieces varying in size and shape. Clean well!

2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cauliflower. Allow it to sizzle and brown, stirring often.

3. When the cauliflower begins to soften (3-4 minutes), add the salt, capers, lemon zest, garlic, red pepper flakes, garlic, and olives.

4. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the cauliflower in golden browns and all the flavors have melded, 10-15 minutes. Remember to mix every now and then and scrape the bottom of the pan, to get all those caramelized pieces off.

5. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve immediately.