Cauliflower with Garlic and Sage

Some years ago, Hubby worked with a woman who had a ‘thing’ about Christmas. She loved it.

Most of us heave a sigh of relief once the last box of decorations, angels, wreaths and wrapping paper have been put away. Even though we usually miss our target clean-up-by date in January (or March?) by a few days, we feel accomplished. Another Christmas is completed, kids were happy for that nano-second when the gifts were first opened, and there were no familial homicides (or suicides).

Not so with Hubby’s long-ago co-worker. As sure as time flows, when he would return to work after the holiday and boot up his computer, there would be a note from Linda waiting in his box. The note would have just four words on it.

‘364 days until Christmas.’

And that’s what I always loved about the woman. She didn’t spend time lamenting the end of her favorite season. She didn’t look backwards, mourning the Santa-empty shelves and bare corner where the tree had stood.. Instead she just turned around, looked ahead and started counting again.

I’ve carried that philosophy with me to another holiday, Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. No, I don’t decorate my house with turkeys and fake leaves and there aren’t stalks of dry corn artfully arranged in the front of the house. Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of doing that kind of thing (especially having to take it all down after the festivities are over).

What I love is preparing for, cooking and presenting the meal. I adore that part. Like Linda, as soon as Thanksgiving is done, after a few minutes of basking in the successes of each dish, I stop looking back and turn around.

I look forward to the next year. I study every recipe I come across, weighing it’s potential for inclusion on my next Thanksgiving table. I cook and I correct. Then I cook again.

The Process

This is one of those recipes that’s been tweaked over the years. It originally comes from a very cold Time-Life Books cookbook but has since become mine, bearing very little resemblance to the originally.

I’m a big proponent of vegetables at the Thanksgiving table. Too often I go places that have an overload of starches (corn is included here) to go along with the massive Thanksgiving bird.

So, I include things like broccoli, beans and cauliflower,

The great thing about this dish is that the cauliflower can be cooked much earlier than dinner, saving time and getting a little clean-up out of the way.

When dinner’s close, simply sauté the minced garlic in oil. Add the cooked cauliflower toss to coat with the garlic-infused oil. Continue to sauté until the cauliflower is heated through, then sprinkle on finely chopped sage, red pepper flakes, salt and freshly ground black pepper. One skillet; five minutes; a delicious side.

The Verdict

This really is heavenly. Of course, I’m a huge cauliflower and sage fan, so I would think that. Dudette was put off by two things that she considers her culinary enemy; hot pepper and green stuff on her food. Such is life.

Cauliflower with Garlic and Sage
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
a Taking On Magazines original recipe
Reviewed by:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 1 head cauliflower, separated into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Bring water to boil in a large sauce pan. Add the cauliflower florets and return the water to boiling. Cook the cauliflower for 3 minutes, until just soft, but still with a little crispness.
  2. Drain the cauliflower in a colander and rinse well with cold water to stop cooking.
  3. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic is just starting to turn beige. Add the drained florets and gently toss to distribute the garlic and oil/butter combination. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the cauliflower is heated through.
  4. Sprinkle the sage, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper over the cauliflower and toss to coat.
  5. Serve the cauliflower with baby sage leaves for garnish if desired.