Cauliflower, olives, and figs as a ‘small plate’ or a side dish

Sauteed Cauliflower With Olives and Figs

Sauteed cauliflower with olives and figs, January 2013

When vacationing in the Washington DC area recently, we ate at Jaleo, a restaurant that serves Spanish tapas, shareable small portions that can be appetizers or make up an entire meal. The dishes we ordered had enticing descriptions: “smoke cured and acorn-fed pork loin,” “grilled lamb T-bone with rosemary sauce,” “goat’s milk cheese with raisin walnut bread and fig jam,” and “sauteed cauliflower with dates and olives.” And they tasted as good as they sound. Some of the items we shared, some we didn’t.  The shareable small plates concept goes only so far when you’re eating something that you really love!

The cauliflower dish was so good that I wanted to try making it at home. I searched online and found the very recipe by Jaleo’s chef, Jose Andreas. Jose had a public television series and wrote a cookbook, both titled “Made in Spain.” I made a few changes to his recipe: I love figs and thought they’d be good in this dish, I wanted to make it without wine, and I didn’t want to track down Spanish paprika (pimentón). The recipe here was the very enjoyable result. Serve as an appetizer or side dish.

White balsamic vinegar (I used Alessi), is best in this dish because it won’t darken the cauliflower.

Sauteed Cauliflower With Olives and Figs
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 dried figs, stems removed and quartered
  • 8 black olives, halved vertically
  • 8 green olives, halved vertically
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  1. Place the olive oil in a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and thyme. Cook and stir until the cauliflower begins to brown, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the figs and olives and cook for about 1 more minute until heated through. Add the vinegar and paprika and cook another minute, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with a little more paprika, if desired.
Calories: 147; Fat: 9g; Saturated fat: 1g; Carbohydrates: 17g; Sugar: 10g; Sodium: 240mg; Fiber: 4g; Protein: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg.


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6 Responses to “Cauliflower, olives, and figs as a ‘small plate’ or a side dish”

  1. Wow, this looks so interesting! Thanks so much for sharing it on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday 🙂

  2. Oooh, this looks amazing! I’m not a cauliflower fan. It’s one of those blah veggies for me. But olives and figs are calling my name! I’ll definitely be trying this!!

  3. Looks delicious, Eileen! I’m going to have to try this for dinner this week!

  4. Miachel says:

    Can’t wait to try. Yum! 🙂

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