Day 256: Cauliflower with Pancetta, Capers & Parmesan ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Simple steamed cauliflower turned ethereal once tossed with pancetta, Parmesan and most especially, capers. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 to 3 points.

So if I were a Swedish woman married to an Italian man and living in Tuscany, this cauliflower might be called a very romantic CAVOLFIORE con PANCETTA, CAPPERI e PARMIGIANO.

Instead I only got to channel with Ilva from Lucullian Delights while feasting on this delicious cauliflower combination. But honestly, I kept thinking about her delicious-looking recipes and travel-inspiring country scenes while cooking and eating it!

It all came about entirely by accident. Long story much short: supper's chicken recipe called for pancetta but didn't really (a recipe mistake, so easy to do! though I wouldn't have expected it from The Splendid Table's weekly weeknight supper e-mail ...) So I ditched supper's cauliflower plan and just started to cook.

WHAT a magical combination, the creamy cauliflower punctuated by bits of barely greasy pancetta and salty capers. The one thing I'd recommend changing is the quantity of pancetta, capers and and Parmesan. Typically I'm quite happy with 'light' vegetables but in this instance, I found myself longing for more of everything, especially the capers.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes to trim (can be done ahead of time) plus another 5 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 4

Water to steam
1 head cauliflower, core removed and florets cut in bite-size pieces

1 - 4 ounces pancetta
1 - 4 tablespoons capers, drained (don't skip the capers)
1 - 2 ounces fresh Parmesan, grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water to boil in a steamer. Steam the cauliflower, covered, for about 15 minutes or until quite cooked, not to the point of mush but soft enough to break apart with a fork. Meanwhile, cook the pancetta in a small skillet until crispy. Stir in the capers. Drain the steamer and return the cauliflower to the hot pan. Stir in the pancetta, including the oil, capers and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve and DO ENJOY!

I'm not specifying exact amounts of pancetta and Parmesan because in 2005, I used the lower amounts and wanted more, in 2008 I used the larger amounts and wanted less! So use your own taste judgment ... as always.
Note to Vegetarians
Recipe and photograph updated in 2008.

~ Roasted Cauliflower ~
~ Curried Cauliflower ~
~ Cauliflower Cream ~
~ more cauliflower recipes ~
~ vegetables taste better with bacon! ~

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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Your Italian is perfect! You are too funny! It sounds like a very good cauliflower recipe, I'll try it out very soon!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna