Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread crumbs in a small baking pan. Bake about 4 to 5 minutes, until the crumbs have dried and are beginning to turn golden. Remove...

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6 servings

– ½ cup fine, fresh bread crumbs
– 2 heads cauliflower

– 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

– 1 can (2 ounces) flat anchovy fillets

– 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely diced

– 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced

– 2 tablespoons small capers, drained and rinsed

– ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

– Salt to taste

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1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread crumbs in a small baking pan. Bake about 4 to 5 minutes, until the crumbs have dried and are beginning to turn golden. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave oven on.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Lay cauliflower on its side and cut off as much of the thick stalk as possible. Turn upside down so the florets are facing away from you. Use a paring knife to cut around the core, fairly close to the florets. Leave about ½ inch of the stem attached to the florets. Remove core and cut florets into bite-size pieces. Rinse well.

3. When the water comes to a boil, add florets and immediately begin timing 4 to 5 minutes, until tender-crisp. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Lightly grease a 2½-quart casserole dish with about 1 teaspoon oil and spread cauliflower in bottom. Set aside.

4. Drain anchovies and rinse. Remove any of the tougher bones, rinse again and set aside.

5. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a 10-inch skillet. Sauté bell pepper 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and capers; cook 1 minute. Add anchovies and mash with the back of a spoon until they dissolve. Scrape mixture over the cauliflower. Season with pepper, mix well and taste. Add salt as needed. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and drizzle with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.

6. Bake the dish 15 minutes, or until hot. Serve immediately, or at room temperature.


From “The Complete Vegetable Cookbook” by Lorraine Bodger.