Contorni: Veggies, Salads, Potatoes Italian Regional Recipes Piemonte

Piedmontese Cavour-style Cauliflower with Anchovy and Hard-Boiled Eggs

Cavolfiore alla Cavour, Cavour-style cauliflower is a typical side dish of historic Piedmontese cuisine in which cauliflower florets are seasoned with butter, boiled eggs and anchovies. Oil is inexistent here since in Northern Italy, especially in ancient times, a lot of butter was used as oil was the prerogative of olive-rich Southern Italy. This time-honoured recipe still retains those characteristics.
The Count of Cavour was a Piedmontese politician and patriot who also contributed a lot to traditional Piedmontese cuisine. That is why this side dish in is called ‘alla Cavour’.


Serves 3-4, Preparation 30 mins, Cooking approx. 30 mins

  • A medium-sized head of cauliflower 
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 5 anchovy fillets in olive oil
  • a sprig of chopped parsley
  • 120 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g grated Grana Padano cheese or possibly Parmigiano
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Trim the cauliflower by removing the stalk and leaves. Do not throw away the leaves as you can cook them separately.

Split the cauliflower into florets, boil them in a pot of slightly salted water for about ten minutes so that they tender but do not boil. Remove the florets from the cooking water without discarding it, you can use it to make boiled eggs.

Melt half of the butter in a large frying pan and toss the florets in, then place them in a buttered oven dish, a generous dusting of Grana Padano or Parmigiano cheese, and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes to 200 °C / 400F / Gas Mark 6. Then take out of the oven and set aside.

Boil the eggs for about 8 minutes in the cooking water in which you previously cooked the florets. Shell and chop them together with the anchovy fillets and parsley and combine in a bowl.


Melt the other half of the butter and pour it over the chopped egg/ anchovy/parsley mixture, a pinch of salt and pepper and the juice of half a lemon, stir and pour this mixture over the cauliflower florets. Serve.

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4 Comments

    1. So glad to hear this, David! As we said, this is a contorno (side-dish) although being so rich in flavours, it can easily be served as a secondo piatto or even a unique dish.

      1. I feel so silly — I somehow read right over “side dish” and didn’t even notice the category of “Contirni!” I can definitely see this as a good secondo…

        1. Just an oversight 🙂
          oh yes, we fully agree this contorno can easily be served as a secondo piatto as well!

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