Pizzeria Delfina’s Spicy Cauliflower

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I miss Pizzeria Delfina something fierce. Once upon a time, our carb-addicted family visited the joint once a month, gorging on pizzas and inventive, lusty veggie accompaniments — but it’s been over a year-and-a-half since we last broke bread there. Now that we’re Paleo, I’m not sure if/when we’ll be back.

One of my favorite side dishes at Delfina was their spicy cauliflower appetizer — the florets were fried until golden and crunchy on the outside and tossed with pepper flakes, garlic, capers, and bread crumbs.

I found the original recipe online and made this dish tonight with a few tweaks to make it Paleo-friendly. The dish was just how I remembered — toasty, tender, spicy, and piquant.

Here’s what I gathered to feed four people:

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or red pepper flakes)

Here’s how I made it:

I grabbed a head of cauliflower…

…and trimmed around the core to release the florets.

I heated the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and when it was shimmering, I dropped in the cauliflower along with a generous sprinkle of salt. 

(Make sure the cauliflower isn’t overcrowded — fry in two batches if you must!)

While the cauliflower browned in the skillet, I sliced the garlic, measured the capers…

…and chopped the parsley.

I kept flipping the florets to make sure they were brown all over (8-10 minutes total). 

Once the cauliflower was toasty, I tossed the capers, parsley, and garlic in the pan and stir-fried everything until the garlic was browned. As a final step, I threw in the Aleppo pepper and adjusted the seasoning with additional salt.

See? Cauliflower is so damn versatile!