Caponata de Verdure alle Sarde

Sardinian Vegetable Saute

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

I have taken a warm vegetable medley from Sicily called caponata di verdure and turned it into a salad, but this Sardinian recipe is not a salad transformed into a warm vegetable dish—it is actually meant to be this way. It makes a great pasta sauce with rigatoni or penne and is a perfect vegetable dish to accompany a simple broiled chicken or fish.


  • 2 small heads cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups; optional)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons (or to taste) finely minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons (or to taste) finely chopped anchovy
  • 4 small bunches spinach, rinsed well and trimmed (about 8 cups)
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest covered with fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup toasted bread crumbs


Cook the cauliflower in a large pot of boiling water until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the pot and cool under cold running water. Boil the broccoli if using in the boiling water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water.

Heat the oil in a very large sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic and anchovy and cook 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and broccoli; cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the spinach and lemon zest with juice; cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the pine nuts and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.