Cauliflower, a good vegetable especially in the winter, can be prepared in many ways. I sometimes like to just boil it. I add a few eggs to boil with it and then when it cools, toss it with olive oil and vinegar. But this is a recipe I got from Torrisi, a deli looking place, set up with 16 seats for dining. It is run by two young Italian Americans, Mario Carbone-who worked for us at Del Posto and Rich Torrisi, who worked at A Voce. Their premise is to cook Italian with all Italian American products. The cauliflower I had was delicious and the breadcrumbs they used were Progresso, started by Italian immigrants in New Orleans in 1905. A Sicilian, Vincent Taormina and his family missed their traditional Italian products. They began by having olive oil shipped back from Italy for themselves and friends. As demand grew, so did the products they offered and the Progresso Food Company started.
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 large or 2 small head cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1. In a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add sliced garlic and cook until sizzling, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add cauliflower florets and toss to coat in the oil. Season with the salt. Cover and cook/smother until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Check and stir occasionally, adding up to 1/2 cup water if the skillet starts to dry out or burn.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and grated cheese. When the cauliflower is tender, uncover and sprinkle with the cheese crumbs. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, toss well and serve.