Pancetta and Sage Cauliflower
Recipe type: side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Roasted Cauliflower has a richness that steamed cauliflower cannot achieve.
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cleaned and with the greens removed
  • 8 to 10 slices of pancetta
  • 4 to 5 leaves of fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil for brushing on the cauliflower
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Carefully trim the cauliflower, leaving as much of the stem intact as possible. The stem holds the big pieces together. Slice the head in half from top to bottom. Using a long and sharp knife, cut as many half inch slices as you can from the middle until it starts coming apart. Lay the large slices carefully in a pan with raised sides which you have lightly coated with olive oil. Continue to slice flat pieces off of the remaining chunks to the extent possible. Place all of the cauliflower into the roasting pan. Brush the tops of the cauliflower with olive oil. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper, bearing in mind that the pancetta to be used later is quite salty. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, turning once with a spatula at about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the roasting pan and let the cauliflower sit until it is just cool enough to handle. Choose the 8 or so most substantial smaller pieces and lay one half of a sage leaf on top of them. Then wrap each of these pieces with a piece of pancetta. Some of the pieces will fall apart a littleā€¦just wrap it up. Lay any extra pieces of pancetta over the larger slabs of cauliflower. Return the roasting pan to the oven and allow it to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pancetta is browned and crispy.
  4. Should the pancetta still look a bit underdone at the end of 15 minutes, broil it for about 1 to 2 minutes to crisp the tops. This is a better plan than letting the cauliflower roast further and lose its bite altogether. But, as I always caution, beware of the broiler. Don't walk away or you, if you are anything like me, will forget it and return to ashes.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve.
Recipe by kelly yandell at