Seared Cauliflower with Anchovies

by David Tanis
Seared Cauliflower with Anchovies


Half a large cauliflower

6 tbsp olive oil

2/3 anchovy fillets

1 small clove garlic

1 tbsp capers

Rind of 1 lemon

Salt and a pinch of chilli flakes or black pepper

Herbs: parsley & tarragon work especially well


Chop your cauliflower into pieces about 1cm thick. They are not going to be uniform thickness and that’s ok it gives a range of textures as thinner parts get very soft and contrast with the ticker parts which will still have a bite.

Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the cauliflower and season lightly with salt. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan or the cauli will start to steam. It should sear and start to brown. Cook it on this side for about 4-5 minutes, don’t move the pieces.

Meanwhile heat about 4 tbsp of olive oil very gently in a small saucepan. Finely chop and add the anchovy fillets. Let them heat through and start to melt into the oil, keep stirring them. Final thing is to throw in your chopped herbs

After a few minutes add the garlic and let that cook through, keep the heat low. Once the garlic is fragrant take the pan off the heat & while it is still warm quickly add the capers and grated rind of a lemon (you could add half and then taste to see if it needs more). Season with a little salt and chilli flakes. Mix it thoroughly & taste for seasoning

Once the cauliflower has been in the pan for about 4 minutes check a couple of pieces to make sure they are browned and softening. If so then turn them all over and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are a texture you want. I like them tender but with some bite not falling apart but it a personal taste thing!

Once the cauliflower is ready arrange the florets for serving and spoon the sauce over them. This should be eaten pretty quickly to retain the crispness on the outside of the vegetables.

Serves 2.

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