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Roasted cauliflower with capers, raisins and panko

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Roasted cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower is great by itself, but this recipe takes it up a notch. The combination of ingredients may seem a little bit odd, but it works very well. The sweet raisins, salty capers and umami-rich anchovy paste create a richness of flavor. I found this recipe in the November 2011 issue of Bon Appétit. With the exception of panko, I use the same ingredients but have modified the ratios and the cooking methods significantly.

Anchovy paste

Many people have a visceral knee-jerk reaction to anchovies. As in "I don't like anchovies." Or even, "I HATE anchovies." If this is you, I challenge you to give anchovies one more try. The anchovy paste in this dish is very subtle and gives the dish umami and savoriness, and not a bit of fishiness. You will not even actually know it is there, it will just make the dish better. You can find anchovy paste at many grocery stores or on Amazon. Anchovy paste is a handy way to include anchovies in your recipes. Less mess and a longer shelf life than the anchovy tins. Try adding a bit of paste to salad dressings, soups and stews for a little extra yum factor.

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You may be tempted to cram all the cauliflower in on one baking sheet. Resist this urge and plan on washing two baking sheets. In order to roast your vegetables, they need space to achieve that crispy caramelized  roasted goodness. If you pack them in too close together they steam instead of roasting. You might as well pop them in the microwave!

Make ahead and size up for a crowd

This dish can be made ahead. You roast the cauliflower, plump up the raisins and make the toasted panko mix.  Keep all three components separate and combine just before serving. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Serve hot or at room temperature

The nice thing about this dish is it can be served hot or at room temperature. If you are serving a crowd, or serving it for Thanksgiving, it can be a challenge to serve everything hot. Don't sweat it, this recipe is great at room temperature. If you have made the components ahead of time and are determined to serve it hot, simply put the cauliflower back in a hot oven for 5 minutes and warm the raisin mixture up on the stove.


Roasted cauliflower with capers, raisins and panko

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Roasted cauliflower by itself is delicious. Capers, raisins and panko take an already great dish up a notch. Can be made ahead. Perfect for Thanksgiving.

  • Author: Something New For Dinner
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into 2” florets
  • 6 T olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 T capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 t anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1/3 cup yellow raisins
  • 1 T Spanish sherry vinegar (Jerez vinegar)
  • 2 T parsley, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss cauliflower in 3T olive oil and spread out on 2 baking sheets. Turn the florets after about 20 minutes and roast another 5 to 10 minutes, until they are golden.
  2. Heat 1 T olive oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Add panko and toast, stirring frequently. This will take about 5 minutes. When panko is golden brown, transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add 1 T olive oil to the same pan, turn the heat down to medium and add garlic. Saute about one minute, stirring so garlic doesn’t burn. Add capers and continue to saute until garlic is soft, stirring frequently. Turn off heat and add panko to capers and garlic. Toss and set aside.
  4. In a small sauce pan, whisk together chicken broth and anchovy paste. Bring to a boil and add vinegar and raisins. Reduce heat to medium and cook until raisins have absorbed most of the liquid, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
  5. When ready to serve toss cauliflower with raisin mixture, panko mixture and parsley. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.







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