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Cauliflower with Anchovy Panko | Chris Cooks

January 23, 2022

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Anchovies get a bad reputation. I blame the 90s Ninja Turtles movies, but whatever the reason it is unjustified. Just because they’re fish, doesn’t mean that what you add them to will taste like fish. They are a seasoning, like garlic powder. If treated right, they add depth to a dish without drawing attention to themselves.

Cauliflower loves anchovies, so weaving them into a crunchy panko topping totally works. And if you’re unfamiliar with cooking with anchovies, they completely melt into whatever you’re cooking to disperse evenly. No chunks – just flavor.

Even so, I know most Americans won’t venture into anchovy territory. But boy, I hope you do. It’s a whole range of experience that is just waiting for you. A brand new ingredient that deserves space in your fridge, and weekly use.

Cauliflower With Anchovy Panko

Anchovies and cauliflower are an amazing pair, but most people wouldn't know it because of their fear of cooking with anchovies. Fear not! The flavor is out of this world, and isn't "fishy" like many assume.
Course: Side Dish


  • 1 head cauliflower separated into flourettes
  • 1+3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 filets anchovy
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs gluten free panko works great
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425, with a baking sheet inside. Toss the cauliflower flourettes with 1Tbsp olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Once the pan has heated in the oven for 10 minutes, quickly remove the pan from the oven and close the door to prevent excess heat loss. Add the cauliflower to the pan, shake to evenly disperse and place the pan back in the oven on the center rack. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • In a pan on the stove over medium heat, add the other 3 tbsp of olive oil, along with the anchovies. Sauté the anchovies until they break apart and melt into the oil. Add the garlic cloves and breadcrumbs, and toast until it begins to darken. Remove from heat, toss in the parsley and lemon zest.
  • Immediately add the roasted cauliflower to the pan and toss together with another pinch of salt and pepper. Using a microplane, grate the parmesan over the mix and toss again. Add to your serving platter, and top with more of the grated parmesan. Serve warm.


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What do you think?

  1. Michelle says:

    Cauliflower + anchovies?? can’t wait to try this!

  2. Michelle S says:

    Let me preface this by saying I rarely cook… but I made this and MAN it was tasty!! I felt like I was eating a restaurant side dish in my own home. Thank you!!

  3. Michelle says:

    Anchovy paste is a nice “not scary” alternative to begin the journey if you’re afraid of what’s in the can. It’s a salty umami flavor that can’t be replicated with just salt – just a great depth of flavor that’s worth experiencing by your own hand. I’ve seen it all different locations in the grocery store- sometimes in the tuna area and sometimes it’s right next to the tubes of tomato paste.

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