Italian Roasted Cauliflower with Raisin, Caper and Pine Nut Dressing by Chef Laura Brennan


August 15, 2017

My Italian grandmother was born on the little island of Ischia off the coast of Naples. She brought with her to America a love for summer and for cooking vegetables. Although this dish was not among her repertoire, I made it for her once and she smiled in approval as she was eating it!

  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yields: 4-6 Servings


1 head cauliflower, approximately 2 ½ to 3 pounds

1-cup (8 fluid ounces) good quality olive oil, extra virgin preferably, divided

3 ounces peeled shallots, thinly sliced

3-4 tablespoons Italian red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons mild-flavored honey

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, dried, and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

3 tablespoons golden raisins, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, to “plump”

½ cup flat parsley leaves, washed, dried and roughly chopped (start with a 1 inch bundle of parsley on

the stem

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Carefully cut the cauliflower in half through the stem. Trim off the end of the stem. Lay the

halves flat side down on the cutting board and cut each half through the center again. Cut each

quarter in half again. You now have 8 slices.

3. Use a baking pan(s) large enough to lay each piece flat. Lightly oil the pan(s) with a bit of the

olive oil.

4. Oil both sides of each slice of cauliflower and place on baking pan(s). Lightly season each piece

with salt & pepper and roast for 15 minutes. With a thin spatula, flip each piece over and

continue to roast until tender and caramelized/browned. Another 20 to 25 minutes probably.

5. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the dressing:

a. Sauté the sliced shallots in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, until softened, but not browned

b. Remove from heat, add the vinegar and the honey

c. Season with salt and pepper

d. Whisk in ½ cup more olive oil

e. Taste and adjust seasoning

f. Add the drained raisins, pine nuts and capers

6. While still warm, lay the cooked cauliflower on a platter, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle again

with a bit more salt and pepper, if desired. Using a soup/serving spoon, drizzle the dressing

generously over all the slices. More is better. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Serve at room temperature. Great with sliced meats, chicken & fish.