Roasted Cauliflower with Pancetta and Caper Berries

  • Roasted Cauliflower with Pancetta and Caper Berries

Roasted Cauliflower with Pancetta and Caper Berries


(serves 4 - 6)

 Serve as part of an antipasto with other roasted vegetables for lunch or a light dinner. Serve as an accompaniment to simply cooked meats such as roast lamb or chicken. For a vegetarian version substitute pancetta with tiny croutons.



30g (2 tbsp) capers (rinsed)

14g (2 tbsp) sultanas

45ml (3 tbsp) lemon juice

750-800g (1) small head cauliflower (trimmed of any leaves)

30ml (2 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil

30g {3 tbsp}  butter {diced and cold}

1/4 tsp flaky sea salt

½ tsp sugar

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

additional flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

70g pancetta (diced)

30ml (2 tbsp) water

30ml (2 tbsp) verjuice

8 caper berries (rinsed and drained)

1 tbsp roughly chopped chervil



 Preheat oven to 180 ºC.

 In a small bowl place sultanas and lemon juice and soak sultanas for at least 30 minutes.

 Trim cauliflower stalk flush with base of crown.  Place cauliflower, stalk side down, onto a clean board and cut a 2.5cm slice from 2 opposite sides of crown and save for another use.  Cut crown lengthwise into 4 ‘steaks’ each about 2.5cm wide.

 In a large fry pan, preferably one which is oven proof, set over a medium heat place oil and 1 tbsp butter and melt.  Add salt, a pinch of sugar and pepper, swirling fry pan occasionally till butter begins to brown.

 Add cauliflower steaks, lightly season and cook 3-4 minutes till lightly golden. You may need to do this in two stages.

Transfer oven proof fry pan to preheated oven, or transfer cauliflower to a roasting tray, and roast cauliflower, without turning  cauliflower, for 15 -20 minutes, or till just tender.

 In a small heavy based fry pan set over a moderate heat place pancetta and cook till crispy.  Remove onto paper towels to absorb excess fat and keep warm.

 In a small pot set over a moderate heat place water and verjuice and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add remaining butter piece by piece and whisk to incorporate.

 Add capers, sultanas with lemon juice and caper berries.

 To Serve: Using a fish slice place cauliflower steaks onto a platter and drizzle with sauce.

 Sprinkle with chervil and pancetta.