It is important to note that this dish does not have an anchovy flavor. Indeed, there is no reason ever to tell anyone who eats this dish that there are anchovies in it. The taste is merely salty and rich — and reflects beautifully off the sweet, creamy taste of the cauliflower beneath its slightly crunchy breadcrumb topping.
See all cauliflower recipes.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the anchovies, garlic, shallot, and breadcrumbs. Cook until golden, 5-7 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Break the cauliflower into florets and toss in a bowl with the sage, lemon zest, sugar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and spread out on a large baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook until tender and golden, about 20-25 minutes. Then, remove from the oven and transfer to a large bowl. Toss together the cauliflower and breadcrumbs and serve on a warmed platter.