Cavolfiori al Forno – Baked Cauliflower

Are you on the edge of your seats wondering who will win a copy of Breaking Bread in L’Aquila by Maria Filice? Well you’ll have to wait just a wee bit longer . . . you can enter the drawing until Thursday, May 20th at 11:59 p.m. CET and then I’ll announce the winner on the Bleeding Espresso Facebook page and also tweet it via @michellefabio (and contact the winner, of course).

P.S. Remember to also join in the contest over at She Who Blogs, where you can read an interview with me *and* enter to a win a signed copy of Mary Amabile Palmer’s Cucina di Calabria!

For now, I’m going to share my adaptation of another of Maria’s wonderful recipes; last week was the recipe for the best crostini ever and this week we’re playing with cauliflower.

I don’t know about you, but I love cauliflower . . . I just get so *bored* with how to make it. And please don’t tell me to mash it up like potatoes. P will barely eat mashed potatoes as it is; I’m not about to risk losing our twice a year mashed potato splurge because of a cauliflower dish gone wrong. Anyone who has cooked for a picky eater knows where I’m coming from on this, right?

Needless to say, I was excited when I saw Maria’s “Cavolfiori al Forno” recipe for baked cauliflower. Fast, easy, delicious, and pretty darn healthy to boot . . . just like we like it around here!

Cavolfiori al Forno – Baked Cauliflower
from Breaking Bread in L’Aquila by Maria Filice
(as adapted by me)

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Salt for blanching cauliflower
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into two or three pieces*
  • 1/4 cup of unseasoned bread crumbs**
  • Chopped parsley to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of freshly grated parmigiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375ยฐF (190ยฐC).

2. Fill a large pot about halfway with water and bring to a boil.

3. Add two tablespoons of salt and cauliflower. Boil for 5 minutes and remove cauliflower with a slotted spoon.

4. While the cauliflower is boiling, prepare a bowl with the garlic and olive oil. Add the cauliflower and mix to cover it, then transfer the cauliflower (leaving the garlic behind) to a baking dish.

5. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, parsley, and cheese. Spread evenly over cauliflower and season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Bake uncovered for about 8 minutes; remove and move around cauliflower a bit. Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until golden. Serve warm.

Buon appetito!

* The original recipe calls for minced garlic, but I found this to be a little too garlicky for my taste, so I left the garlic in bigger pieces for us the next time and really enjoyed it. Feel free to experiment.

** I think you could also go seasoned, or alternately, add a little onion and garlic powder (instead of adding the garlic) ala my veal cutlets. I’m going to try this next time.

14 Beans of Wisdom to “Cavolfiori al Forno – Baked Cauliflower”
  1. I love cauliflower too.

    I must make this dish.

    I think you’ll be a fan; this is great for one person, too b/c it’s easy to adjust the measurements and make as little or as much as you want (I ate this cold the next day…YUM!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    .-= nyc/caribbean ragazza´s last blog ..You’ve Got Mail! Girl Scouts Samoas Cookies =-.

  2. 05.19.2010

    Have you ever tried cauliflower with risotto? C makes an amazing one and sprinkled with lots of parmigiano it’s gorgeous! The only downside of caulieflower is the after effects (you know what I mean ๐Ÿ˜‰ )!

    Sounds good! We’re not big risotto eaters, but the flavors would definitely work…maybe I’ll try that. Thanks Jo!

    .-= jo mcgilp´s last blog ..SEX AND THE CITY 2 โ€“ ITโ€™S NEARLY TIME! =-.

  3. 05.19.2010

    Ooh, this I have got to make. Got two heads of cauli sitting in the fridge. Here’s to my supper!
    PS am glad I’m not the only one to deal with a picky eater. Strength to both of us, Michelle!

    Haha…it’s quite a challenge since I like to be creative and adventurous. A lot of times I end up cooking two things — my own fault since I could just as easily eat whatever I make for Paolo, but see previous sentence ๐Ÿ˜‰

    .-= Absolute Vanilla´s last blog ..An interview with children’s author, Pat Walsh =-.

  4. 05.19.2010

    Looks delicious. I had cauliflower yesterday. My beautiful wife made it with mayo, blue cheese and bacon.

    Wow, that sounds like a bumba as we say here ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. 05.19.2010

    The only way I can trick my daughter into eating cauliflower (and my fiance for that matter), is to cook it down with a bit of chicken stock and whatever cheese I have floating around, blend it into a smooth sauce and pour it over pasta. You lose that wonderful crunchy texture, but they both think it’s just homemade mac and cheese!

    Oh that’s awesome, Jenilyn; great idea!

    .-= Jenilyn´s last blog ..Posing My First Challenge =-.

  6. 05.19.2010

    Add a little lemon and you’ll be in heaven!

    Interesting, Janet…I’m not much of a lemony person, but P is; I’ll have to suggest it to him next time ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Claudia
    05.19.2010

    I do this on broccoli – everyone eats their vegetables then! Thanks for dropping by my blog. You have too much fun here. I will be back.

    Great to see you Claudia! Mangia mangia ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. 05.19.2010

    Ooh, this looks yummy. I tend to do cauliflower baked in a cheese sauce, but your recipe would be much better for the summer, when things in bรจscamel are just too heavy.

    Also, I’ve never actually made this myself, but I *love* pickled cauliflower, especially as part of a good, chunky piccalilli. We’re back to the cheese theme again – I just can’t resist the stuff, and when combined with a good, tart chutney – well, I’m in heaven …

    I like pickled cauliflower too, although I never seem to like the pickled stuff as much as fresh…still for when it’s out of season, it’s better than not having it at all ๐Ÿ™‚

    .-= Katja´s last blog ..On winning at Gallipoli =-.

  9. 05.20.2010

    Cauliflower with Anchovies and Garlic!!
    Steam the cauliflower until tender. In a skillet, with a few tablespoons of olive oil add minced up garlic and anchovies, cook over low flame until anchovies have disolved, then add steamed cauliflower to skillet, toss a while so that garlic anchovy sauce covers it. Garnish with parsley–Delizioso!
    From How To Cook Everything

    And don’t forget the peperoncini! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks Susan!

  10. Gil
    05.20.2010

    I love cauliflower too!!! This recipe sounds much healthier than my wife’s as her is similar to Katja’s.

    Your heart will thank you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. 05.20.2010

    This recipe looks sensational….can’t wait to try it. Thank you for visiting French Essence and I am so happy that your enjoyed my book….xv

    Thanks so much for coming over, Vicki!

  12. 05.20.2010

    Ciao Michelle,
    i wanted to take a fork and try a piece of your dish while sitting in front of my pc….looks so yummy!
    the most amazing thing about Italian cuisine (according to my humble opinion) is the thousand of creative ways they prepare veggies…and the delicious results at the end of course:)
    mille grazie for stopping by and for your comment/compliment-u made my week:)
    i am a big Italy-fan and last weekend was the first time i went to Calabria for 4 days…

    have a good rest of the week!
    sunny smiles from the Netherlands (i live and work here, but I am actually Bulgarian:)

    Thanks so much for coming over, Jana, and I’m so happy you got to spend some time in Calabria!

    .-= Jana´s last blog ..The castle of le Castella… =-.

  13. 05.22.2010

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have made variations of something like this, but not exactly like this and would like to try this one out.

    Let me know if you do, Murasaki!

    .-= Murasaki Shikibu´s last blog ..Coniglio alla Sanremasca (Ligurian Rabbit Recipe โ€“ Sanremo Style) =-.

  14. I’ve created a PDF of this recipe and already printed it out for myself and my cousin Ro – she LUURVS cauliflower!

    Enjoy Salena (and Ro)!

    .-= Salena of The Daily Rant´s last blog ..It Pays To Blog About Life On The Road =-.

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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