Gio’s Cucina

“Welcome to Gio’s Cucina!”

-Chef John Ruggeri




Gio’s Cucina is your source for mouth watering recipes straight from Head Chef John Ruggeri’s Secret Recipe Book. Check back each month for a new dish!


Cauliflower Oreganata



  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 heads cauliflower, broken into large two inch wide florets
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees or broil if possible, placing an over rack about 18 inches below the heat source.

Fill a large pot with 6 quarts of water and add the garlic cloves. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat, season with salt, and add the cauliflower. Reduce the heat and cook the cauliflower at a gentle simmer until it is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Combine the panko, lemon zest, oregano, and olive oil in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Drain the cauliflower and garlic from the pot, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and place in a baking dish that fits the cauliflower snugly. Sprinkle the panko mixture liberally over the top of the cauliflower florets. Cook in the oven until the panko has browned, about 5 minutes.

Divide the cauliflower among 4 plates, add 3 garlic cloves per serving and spoon a couple of tablespoons of the cauliflower cooking liquid into the bottom of each pan.