Bread crumbs give this crunchy one-skillet dish, which has roots in southern Italy, plenty of body. The steam-searing technique is handy for all sorts of vegetables.

Serves 4


  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more, as needed
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (preferably fresh)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 large cauliflower (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped, pitted black olives
  • 2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar


    Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it's hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir in the parsley and transfer the mixture to a small bowl.

    Wipe out the skillet, return it to medium-high heat and add the remaining oil. When it's hot, add the cauliflower, sprinkle with salt, add 1 cup water and quickly cover the pan. Cook, shaking occasionally, until you can barely pierce a floret with a sharp knife, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the cover, scatter the onion over all and cook, undisturbed, until the water evaporates and the cauliflower starts to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir once or twice and transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Let sit for a few minutes to cool.

    Add the olives, vinegar and about 1/2 cup of the crumbs. Toss, taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more olive oil if you'd like. Toss again and serve, passing the remaining crumbs at the table.

    From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Mark Bittman.

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