Steamed Cauliflower with Walnut Vinaigrette

steamed cauliflower walnut vinaigrette
Photo: Sidney Bensimon
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

Buttery walnuts are roasted with garlic and Parmesan, then tossed with capers, parsley, and red-wine vinegar to make a sensational dressing for crisp-tender cauliflower.


  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ cup walnuts

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 pound cauliflower florets

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mash garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a paste. Toss with walnuts, Parmesan, and 2 tablespoons oil. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Cut cauliflower into 1-inch-thick planks. Steam in a pot of salted boiling water fitted with a steamer basket until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes.

  3. Finely chop roasted nuts; toss with capers, parsley, vinegar, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Divide cauliflower among plates, spoon on vinaigrette, drizzle with more oil, and serve.

Cook's Notes

Don't throw out those cauliflower greens! They're super tasty -- steam them along with the florets and use to garnish the dish.


The walnut vinaigrette works nicely with other steamed vegetables, such as endive or carrots. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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