Cauliflower Cacciatore

cauliflower cacciatore (2)

Years ago, when I was first learning how to cook, I made chicken cacciatore and I loved it. It’s Italian, a little spicy and full of flavor. When I became vegan, I reinvented the recipe and used tofu. I loved Tofu Cacciatore even more. This time I’m making another change and making cauliflower cacciatore.

cauliflower cacciatore (12)

Ironically, the word cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style.” Cold-hearted hunters would go out and murder innocent animals and make this dish with rustic cuts of vegetables. Well, hunting sucks. The only hunting involved in my version of this cacciatore may be searching for a place to hide some of it before everyone else eats it all up.

You can use whatever veggies you like but bell peppers, mushrooms and onions are pretty typical for this dish. I like to add chickpeas for texture and extra protein while capers add a touch of salt. Then I add kale because everything is better with extra greens.

cauliflower cacciatore (11)

It’s always fun to keep reinventing a recipe, trying new ingredients and making it better each and every time. This version of my cacciatore will definitely be in the regular rotations of meals. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Cacciatore

cauliflower cacciatore (13)

GF, SF

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, any color, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 zucchini, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. ground turmeric

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 fresh bay leaf

1/2 cup white wine (optional)

28 oz. canned diced tomatoes

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

2 Tbsp. capers, drained

2 cups cooked chickpeas

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

1/4 cup basil or parsley, coarsely chopped

In a deep skillet or large sauté pan that has a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Then add the bell peppers and let cook for about 3  minutes. Add the celery and the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for 6 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for another 2 minutes. Once the vegetables are tender, add the garlic and the herbs and spices to the pan. We waited until now to add them so they wouldn’t burn. Mix them in well.

If you are using wine, add it to the pan and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. If you don’t want to use wine, omit this step.

Add the tomatoes with their juice.  Mix in the broth, capers and chickpeas. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens a little, about 5-6 minutes. Add the kale and cover the pot until the kale is bright green. Mix it into the veggies.

Remove the bay leaf or if you’re like me, forget about the bay leaf until you or someone else finds it in their food. If you find it, remove it quietly. If someone else finds it, tell them they win the prize and take it away from them. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley. Serve over brown rice or pasta.

cauliflower cacciatore (6)

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

Cauliflower Cacciatore
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, any color, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. capers, drained
  • 28 oz. canned diced or whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
  • ¼ cup basil or parsley, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. In a deep skillet or large sauté pan that has a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes.
  3. Then add the bell peppers and let cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the celery and the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for 6 minutes.
  5. Add the zucchini and cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Once the vegetables are tender, add the garlic and the herbs and spices to the pan. We waited until now to add them so they wouldn't burn. Mix them in well.
  7. If you are using wine, add it to the pan and simmer until it is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. If you don’t want to use wine, omit this step.
  8. Add the tomatoes with their juice. Mix in the broth, capers and chickpeas.
  9. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens a little, about 5-6 minutes.
  10. Add the kale and cover the pot until the kale is bright green. Mix it into the veggies.
  11. Remove the bay leaf or if you’re like me, forget about the bay leaf until you or someone else finds it in their food. If you find it, remove it quietly. If someone else finds it, tell them they win the prize and take it away from them.
  12. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley. Serve over brown rice or pasta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to Cauliflower Cacciatore

  1. Mia April 3, 2015 at 2:08 am #

    Going to make tomorrow. Two of my husbands favorites. Thank you Rhea… you make this so much easier for me.

    • Rhea April 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

      Hi Mia, I’m so glad I could be of any help. xoxo

  2. NancyK April 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    Oh Yum!!!!!!! Can’t wait to make this!

    • Rhea April 4, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      Hope you like it Nancy! xoxo


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