Braised Cauliflower with Garlic and Anchovies

Braised Cauliflower with Garlic and Anchovies(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites: January 2010.) I’m guessing at least a few of you saw the word “anchovies” in the recipe title and weren’t excited about it. I felt that way about anchovies for a long time, but when I finally started cooking with them a few years ago, I really came to appreciate the salty and umami-rich flavor that the tiniest amount of anchovies or anchovy paste can bring to a dish. In this recipe, the combination of garlic and anchovies turn this simple dish of braised cauliflower into something that you’ll want to make over and over, which is why I think it’s perfect to be added to my category for Recipe Favorites.

I used anchovy paste that comes in a tube, which gave only a slight hint of anchovy flavor, much the same way that fish sauce does for Thai or Vietnamese food. This was a recipe I found on The Wednesday Chef, and I’ve made it many times since she first posted it in 2007. Some things never go out of style, and cauliflower combined with garlic and anchovies is one of them.

Mash the garlic and anchovy paste together in a mortar and pestle, or if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, just use a fork to mash it together.

It’s important to cut or break the cauliflower into same-size flowerets, otherwise they’re not going cook in the same length of time.

Browning the cauliflower over high heat for the first part of the cooking time is important here, not only for flavor but for the lovely browned edges it creates.

After the cauliflower is lightly browned, it’s braised in chicken stock until it’s tender, and then some chopped fresh parsley is stirred in, for a side dish that may get more attention than the main course.

Braised Cauliflower with Garlic and Anchovies
(Makes 4-6 servings, slightly adapted from The Wednesday Chef, who adapted it from Russ Parsons.)

1 large head cauliflower (core removed and cut into same-size flowerets)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. anchovy paste from a tube, or use 2 mashed anchovy filets from a can
tiny pinch red pepper flakes
1-2 T olive oil (will depend on your pan)
1/2 Cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or more)

Cut the cauliflower in half, cut out the core part, and cut the cauliflower into same-size flowerets. Mash the garlic and anchovy paste together with mortar and pestle or with a fork.

Heat olive oil in large, heavy frying pan. (A pan that’s not non-stick will give the best browning.) Add the mashed garlic/anchovy mixture and saute over medium heat about about a minute, being careful not to brown the garlic. Add red pepper flakes and saute about 30 seconds more, then add cauliflower pieces, raise the heat a little, and cook until the cauliflower has browned well, about 3-4 minutes.

Add chicken stock, cover pan, and lower heat to a very gentle simmer and cook 7 minutes, or until cauliflower feels barely tender. Remove lid and turn heat to high, cook until liquid has evaporated, not more than a couple of minutes longer. Mix in chopped parsley and serve hot.

South Beach Suggestions:
Everything about this delightful vegetable side dish is perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any other type of low-glycemic eating plan. Cauliflower is also one of those wonderful cruciferous vegetables that are loaded with healthful nutrients.

More Phase One Cauliflower Recipes:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Cauliflower with Garlic and Lemon from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan and Goat Cheese from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Cauliflower “Rice” with Fried Onions and Sumac from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Simple Cauliflower Soup from Simply Recipes
Alanna’s Roasted Cauliflower from A Veggie Venture
Cauliflower Dal with Panch Phoron from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Saffron Roasted Cauliflower from Chocolate and Zucchini
Colorful Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower
from Sunday Nite Dinner
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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25 comments on “Braised Cauliflower with Garlic and Anchovies”

  1. Wow that looks great!

  2. Oh, Hooray and Hooray!!! Water!
    We just had the Twice Baked Cauliflower but this looks really tasty!

  3. Congratulations on having water back!!! The dish looks wonderful–I love putting anchovies in a recipe. It lifts the flavor beautifully!

  4. Isn’t this just sooo delicious?! I’m glad you liked it so much. I haven’t made it since last year, but now you’ve got me thinking about it again… 😉

  5. This is definitely a recipe I will try. I love cauliflower, garlic and anchovies. As to your water pipe problem. We had frozen pipes this winter too. We didn’t cover our well with enough insulation so the problem started there. It’s a real shock to turn on the water and have nothing come out. Glad you have water again.

  6. Came across your blog from Ed’s. You have some very healthy recipes. Thanxs for sharing.

  7. That sounds so good! Just thinking about it is making my mouth water. I have only recently discovered the joy of anchovies

  8. I’d totally add more garlic!! mmm…vampires!

  9. Hi everyone,
    All these nice comments while I’ve been teaching school! Luisa is right, this was just soooo delicious. Do give it a try. Bill might be on to something with the idea of more garlic too.

  10. Love the idea of anchovy and garlic with cauliflower. I bet I could adapt my favorite roasted cauliflower recipe to work here.

    Glad you are up and running again.

  11. I love anchovies with spaghetti and parsley but usually cannot finish consuming that little can of anchovies quickly. Now I can use the little fishes for this recipe! Thanks!

  12. Hooray for water! That must have been so frustrating!

    We have a well and septic, so I’m always hoping the power never goes out!

  13. I made this for dinner last night. It was soooo good! This recipe will definitely become a regularly featured method with cauliflower!

    p.s. I added a few red chili flakes to mine. mmmmm

  14. I'm a huge fan of the anchovy paste in a tube. I used to have an aversion to working with anchovies, though I like the salty flavor they add, so when I discovered the paste in a tube, I was in heaven. Now if I could just get over my aversion to cauliflower….

  15. The combination of cauliflower and anchovies is surprisingly tempting to me. The mellow flavor of cauliflower takes on other seasonings really well and I happen to be a lover of anchovies. Sound great!

  16. I saw anchovies in the recipe name and got excited. I LOVE anchovies, due largely to little Will convincing me to give them a try. This cauliflower looks and sounds AMAZING. Can't wait to try!

  17. Anchovies add such a depth of flavor to dishes! I always keep a bottle in the fridge and I will melt one or two filets in a skillet with a little oil and garlic and then continue my sauce. I really like your recipe with the cauliflower – looks delicious.

  18. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare cauliflower and it's sooo delicious.

    If you're adding carbs back into your diet, it's really good on top of a small amount of pasta. Grate a little parmesan on top- heaven in a bowl.

  19. Lydia, I was a slow adaptor to those tubes of tomato paste, garlic puree, and anchovies, but now I love using them. Best of all the rest stays good for so long.

    CC, I'm starting to think I'm a lover of anchovies too. Who would have ever imagined?

    Sarah, I'm loving that mental image of Will convincing you to try anchovies!

    Italian Dish, I am thinking I really need to expand my use of anchovies. Haven't seen them in a jar, will look for that!

    CJ, I love the idea of using this as a sauce on pasta. May have to experiment with that a little!

  20. Anchovies are so adaptable in so many recipes. Sometimes if I need a quick and "unexpected" meal for guests, I saute four or five flat anchovies in olive oil until they dissolve and add to pasta along with a pinch of red pepper flakes; of course you can also add almost any veggie you have in the house too. Cheese on the side for those who must have it. So good. Will make this terrific sounding cauliflower very soon. Thanks again Kalyn for a winner.

  21. Carole, I'm drooling now at the sound of a simple pasta sauce with olive oil, garlic, and anchovies. I'm thinking that may become one of my "go-to" dinners with whole wheat spaghetti.

  22. What a great recipe.
    I like my cauliflower plain but for a change this recipe look so appealing to me.
    I'm going to have to try it.

  23. You're right, the word "anchovy" did give me pause. But having discovered for the first time in over four decades on this diet that I really like cauliflower, I'm certainly willing to give this a try.

  24. This is wonderful. I doubled the anchovies because I love them. Made a big batch which I kept in the fridge a few days for snacking and salads. It keeps well and is good cold.

  25. So glad you enjoyed, and interesting to hear it is good cold. Makes sense, but I wouldn't have thought of it.

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