Riverford Wicked Leeks
Spicy cauliflower with garlic, olives and toasted breadcrumbs recipe image

Print Spicy cauliflower with garlic, olives and toasted breadcrumbs

Sautéing cauliflower is a good way to intensify its taste. The toasted breadcrumbs add a lovely crunchy texture. This can be served as a sauce with pasta – penne, conchiglie or fusilli all work well. Alternatively serve as an accompaniment to grilled or roast poultry.


  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 600g cauliflower, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp capers, soaked in cold water for 20 mins, then squeezed dry & roughly chopped
  • 4-6 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • Pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 tbsp black olives, chopped
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6.
  2. Toss the breadcrumbs in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and spread them out on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes, until golden. Remove and set aside.
  3. Break the cauliflower into separate small heads. Warm about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a wide, shallow pan over a medium heat, add the cauliflower and stir well.
  4. Leave to cook for about 10 minutes, until you see the edges browning slightly, then season to taste and stir gently.
  5. Add the capers, then cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
  6. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil and scatter with the chopped anchovies, if using, plus the garlic, fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Toss to mix in.
  7. Cook for 2 more minutes, then add the parsley and olives. Sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs and serve.

Cooks notes

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