My Recipe Box

Cauliflower with Brown Butter, Pears, Sage & Hazelnuts


Serves 8-10

This dish has the advantage of cooking on the stovetop, freeing up valuable oven space for other dishes.

Want to see this recipe in action? Watch the Video Recipe to see how this dish comes together. 

  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets about 3/4 inch wide
  • 1/2 cup toasted, skinned, chopped hazelnuts (see tip right)
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
To toast hazelnuts, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350°F oven for 14 to 18 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until lightly browned. While still warm, rub them against each other in a clean dishtowel to remove the papery skins.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter until light brown and bubbly. Add the cauliflower, hazelnuts, and sage. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is browned and crisp-tender, 6 to 7 minutes more.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pear slices and parsley. Gently toss to combine and warm the pears. Season to taste with more salt. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prep all the ingredients several hours ahead except for the pears, which will brown if cut too far in advance.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 140, Fat (kcal): 11, Fat Calories (g): 90, Saturated Fat (g): 4.5, Protein (g): 2, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5, Carbohydrates (mg): 11, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 125, Cholesterol (g): 20, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Smooth and crunchy; a fantastic side dish for anything from beef, to pork to turkey. Sweet and salty. Pears, sage and hazelnuts pare well with the cauliflower. Absolutely delicious and easy to pull together.

Delicious and simple!

Delicious. You might want to steam the cauliflower in the pan with the lid on for 5 min or so before adding the nuts and sage

Made this for Thanksgiving and it was pretty good. The flavor does depend a lot on the pears - mine were a bit over ripe and so the end result seemed a little bland. The brown butter certainly makes up for that though - so I will try again with a less ripe pear and make sure the pear doesn't get overcooked. Since hazelnuts are ridiculously expensive I substituted almonds, and thought the nut flavor was great.

I made this recipe for the family on night and got such great reviews that I immediately made it again the next night. I substituted toasted almonds for the hazelnuts with great results. Very yummy!

This is my favourite vegetable dish and I've made it so often, I can whip it together in 20 minutes. For a real quick option, I just brown the cauliflower in the butter, season & serve! For the hazelnuts, I found when I toasted them in a really hot pan (carefully! but I was short on time), the skins pratically fell off many of them; no rubbing required! I picked out enough for the recipe and left the rest. Small florets are necessary, but I cut back on the butter and make sure they're well browned & well seasoned with salt.

Not sure what I did wrong, but this recipe did not go over well at all with my guests. Perhaps I didn't cut the florets small enough, but it took a lot longer to cook, and was pretty flavorless. Definitely the low point of my New Years Eve dinner.

Awesome! I hate cauliflower & I had 2 servings! The nuts & pears really make this recipe. I toasted the hazelnuts the night before. I also used only 4 leaves of sage. This was really tasty & easy to make.

This was excellent! Followed the recipe exactly.

This was fabulous. Made it for a dinner party and got raves. Peeling the filberts was the most time consuming part of the recipe. Next time I'll try walnuts. SEveral friends are not eating potatoes these days and this is a great substitute dish. Although it is so easy to prepare and so tasty, it will be a dish I prepare weekday also.

I made this on the weekend for our Canadian Thanksgiving and it was great. I really loved the nutty flavor and the pear added a nice texture. I'll be making this again at Christmas, if not before then.

My girls age 11 and 14 love cauliflower, so when I saw this recipe I just had to try it. This weekend I bought a beautiful large head of cauliflower at the farmers market and I ended up making it two days in a row. I had forgotten to buy hazelnuts at the market, so decided to substiture almonds. The dish was terrific. I used a little less sage ( 4 leaves) - again due to my younger daughters not liking to be overwhelmed by some flavors. This is a definite for my 2008 Thanksgiving menu !

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