We all know and love the usual Thanksgiving side dish suspects: stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, that jiggly roll of cranberry that still has the indentations of the can it came out of. To add a little variety and elevate the spread, consider cauliflower, the unsung hero of Thanksgiving. In season and versatile, cauliflower is simple to prepare in a caper butter sauce, and it packs a subtle brininess. This recipe is so easy that you'll want to add it to your regular rotation. And as far as a wine pairing goes, this Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast case of wines should cover the gamut of flavors found on your table.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into individual florets
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Begin by steaming the individual florets of cauliflower in a steamer or steamer basket. For this recipe, steam for less time than you would normally, about 10 minutes. You want the cauliflower soft, but with a firmer texture toward the middle.

While the cauliflower is steaming, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the capers and black pepper, stirring occasionally to heat the capers, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Once the cauliflower is ready, add it to pan with the caper butter sauce, stirring to coat.

Spoon the cauliflower mixture into an oven safe dish and pour the remaining caper butter sauce on top. Top with the cheese and crushed red pepper, and place under a broiler for 4 to 5 minutes until melted.

Remove from the oven, stirring again to coat with the caper butter sauce at the bottom of the dish, and serve immediately.