Prep Broccoli & Cauliflower



Serves 6 people

1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into bite-sized or smaller florets
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Maldon or other flaky sea salt

Coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
3 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinse and soaked overnight in cold water (change the water several times)
1 ½ teaspoons hot red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons lemon agrumato oil, or 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest


Preheat the broiler.


Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet (set the bowl aside) and broil 4 inches from the heat source, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 17 minutes, or until lightly charred in spots and just tender.


Return the cauliflower to the bowl, add the olives, capers, red pepper flakes, if using, and lemon oil. Toss to mix well. Taste and season with more salt and/or pepper if necessary.


Serve, or let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour to bring out the flavors.


The cauliflower can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving.



Serves 6 people

Kosher salt

1 large bunch broccoli

½ cup coarsely grated Pecorino Romano

2 tablespoons warm water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Maldon or other flaky sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt.


Cut off the thick broccoli stalks, and cut the broccoli into 1-inch florets with about 1-inch of the tender stalks. Reserve the stalks for another use. Add the broccoli to the boiling water and blanch until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; do not overcook. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking; drain well and pat dry.


Put the pecorino in a large bowl and whisk in the warm water. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the oil to make a loose emulsion. Add the broccoli and toss to coat. Season with Maldon salt and pepper, to taste. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.


Recipe courtesy of Molto Gusto (ecco 2010)

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How-To Tuesdays

Prep Broccoli & Cauliflower

Vegetables in the Brassica genus are some of the healthiest around. Eat them raw in a salad, sauté them with olive oil and garlic, roast them in the oven–the possibilities are endless. But first thing’s first: you need to know how to quickly and easily break ’em down into florets. Here’s how the professionals do it, demonstrated by Casa Mono executive chef Anthony Sasso.

Fun fact: broccoli and cauliflower are cultivars of the SAME species, brassica oleracea, which also includes the cultivars Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, kohlrabi, romanesco, green cabage, savoy cabbage and red cabbage!

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