New This Month

Crisp Cauliflower

By first steaming then lightly frying cauliflower, you get crisp, flavorful florets that benefit from an umami-packed sauce of garlic, white wine, mint, and anchovies.

  • Servings: 4

Photography: Dana Gallagher

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 1998


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 or 2 small heads large cauliflower, (about 2 pounds), outer leaves and cores removed, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet. Toast until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Let nuts cool, and chop finely. Set aside.

  2. Fill a saute pan with 1 inch water; bring to a boil. Add cauliflower; cover with aluminum foil. Reduce heat to medium; steam until almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat; Transfer cauliflower to a plate; pour off remaining water. Using a kitchen towel, wipe pan dry.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and pepper. Cook cauliflower until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, turn, and cook other side. Transfer to a platter.

  4. Combine pine nuts, anchovies, fennel seeds, and garlic in a small bowl. Add to pan; cook until mixture is fragrant and just starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Raise heat to high; add wine. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, 3 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in mint. Drizzle sauce over cauliflower, and serve.

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