Cauliflower with Saffron, Pepper Flakes, and Parsley


Cauliflower with Saffron, Pepper Flakes, and Parsley

Prep Time: 10 Mins Cooking Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 20 Mins


  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), broken into small florets, the core diced (about 6 cups)
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Scant 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, lightly packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Grated aged cheese or crumbled feta cheese (optional)


  1. Steam cauliflower for about 3 minutes. To test for doneness, taste a piece; it should be on the verge of tenderness but not quite fully cooked. Uncover and transfer the colander to the sink to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saffron; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. The heat will activate the saffron so that it colors and flavors the onion. Stir in the garlic, the crushed red pepper flakes and a few pinches of the parsley, then add the steamed cauliflower. Toss to coat it evenly, then add the water and cook (over medium heat) until the cauliflower is tender, just a few minutes.
  3. Season with salt, toss with half of the remaining parsley, and keep warm.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese on top (to taste) and serve.
  5. Variations:
  6. Serve with 8 oz. cooked pasta. Preferable small shells, snails, or other shapes.
  7. Serve with Sauteed Shrimp. If so, omit the cheese.