Roasted Cauliflower with Pangrattato Topping

Roasted Cauliflower with Pangrattato

If you’ve got a few stray ends of stale baguette or other crusty bread, don’t toss them.  Instead grind into crumbs and toast with butter and olive oil, garlic, orange zest and herbs.  You’ll have a quick and delicious topping, known in Italy as pangrattato, that dresses up roasted vegetables, like cauliflower, with crunchy flavor.  For an easy main dish, toss the entire lot with your favorite cooked pasta such as fusilli or farfalle.  This version of pangrattato is inspired by Nigel Slater.

Serves 4


  • large head of cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup coarse breadcrumbs ground from high-quality bread
  • lemon juice
  • salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the core from the cauliflower head and remove any leaves.  Separate into florets and cut florets into large bite-sized pieces.  It’s nice to have a cut side so the cauliflower lies flat against the hot pan.  This allows the cauliflower to brown nicely as it roasts.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with just enough olive olive to lightly coat.  Cover with foil and place in the oven.  Cook for 15 minutes, then remove foil, turn vegetables with a spatula and continue to roast until tender (about 30 minutes total).
  2. While cauliflower roasts prepare the pangrattato topping.  Warm 2 tablespoons oil and butter in a wide skillet over medium heat.  When butter has melted, add garlic, rosemary, orange zest and pepper flakes.  Stir and cook for a few seconds, then add parsley and breadcrumbs.  Toast the breadcrumb mixture until it turns golden, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Remove from heat and cool.
  3. When vegetables are done roasting, toss in a serving bowl with pangrattato, and lemon juice and salt to taste.


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