Cavolfiore con l’Uvetta e i Pignoli

Cauliflower with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Raisins and pine nuts disclose the southern origin of this dish. They do good work on the cauliflower. Those who are already fond of the vegetable will find new stimulus for their affection; those who are usually indifferent to cauliflower’s aloof personality may be pleased to discover what reserves of flavor were waiting to be released by sautéing in olive oil with garlic, raisins, and pine nuts.


  • 1 ounce seedless raisins
  • 1 young head cauliflower, about pounds
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic chopped fine
  • 1 ounce pine nuts
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Soak the raisins in water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Trim the cauliflower of all its outer leaves except for the tender, almost totally white ones. Drop it into 4 quarts of boiling water. After the water returns to a boil, cook for 6 to 7 minutes until it is halfway done, that is, until you feel resistance when pricking it with a fork. Drain it and cut it into -inch pieces.
  3. When the raisins have finished soaking, drain them and squeeze them gently in your hands to force off excess liquid.
  4. Choose a lidded sauté pan that can subsequently accommodate all the cauliflower pieces without overlapping. Put in the oil and the garlic and turn on the heat to medium without covering the pan.
  5. When the garlic becomes colored a pale gold, add the cauliflower, raisins, pine nuts, salt, generous grindings of pepper, cover the pan, and turn down the heat to low. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or more, stirring from time to time, until the cauliflower feels tender when tested with a fork. Sprinkle on the chopped parsley and serve hot.