This recipe is from the cookbook Buvette, by Jody Williams, published in 2014. The only blog post I’ve published from Buvette is her Fruit in Parchment Paper, which was outstanding, shown below right. But I’ve indulged in other wonderful recipes as well.

We’ve actually eaten at Buvette in New York City, a quaint spot in the West Village, which the Chef describes as “part restaurant, part bar, and part café.” According to the restaurant’s website, Buvette recalls “an old world café with the casual nature of a neighborhood eatery.” Turns out, the Chef now has five international locations as well.

What’s interesting about the name of this recipe, Ciambottini, is that Chef Williams made up the word! To quote her, “Like cooking, my language skills are homegrown. I turned Ciambotta, which means “big mix,” into a longer word with a smaller meaning: “ciambottini” is a little mix. For me, it’s a vinegary, salty, can’t-get-enough combination of artichokes, pecorino, sopressata, and briny caper berries. Ciambottini is a strong cocktail’s best friend.”

Indeed. Perhaps a gin and tonic!


1/2 cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
3 small preserved artichokes, quartered lengthwise
3 ounces pecorino Romano, cut into 1” pieces
3 ounces hard salami, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons large caper berries
1/2 cup mixed green and black olives
1 or 2 dried red chile peppers or a large pinch of cayenne pepper flakes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 roasted red bell pepper, skinned, stemmed, seeded, cut into large strips
4 bay leaves

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the cauliflower. Cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and let it cool to room temperature.

Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and thoroughly mix it together with all of the remaining ingredients.

Serve the Ciambottini at room temperature. I served it with grilled bread, but it can be served with toothpicks and little plates; it’s not meant to be a crostini topping.

Make a generous amount, because when you’re done picking at the goodies, the remainder can be tossed with hot cooked pasta for an exceptional pasta salad!



By Published On: May 6th, 202444 Comments on Ciambottini

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Bernadette May 6, 2024 at 6:23 AM - Reply

    I make a similar salad with broccoli and have been toying with the idea of using cauliflower. Thanks for this recipe, I think I will make it for Sunday brunch.,

    • Chef Mimi May 6, 2024 at 7:33 AM - Reply

      Oh wonderful. It’s so fun.

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen May 6, 2024 at 8:03 AM - Reply

    This looks lovely Mimi, and I’m sure the sherry vinegar gives it a unique flavor. So pretty, and you could easily swap out ingredients. My mind is already working…
    I love that she made up the word!

    • Chef Mimi May 6, 2024 at 9:34 AM - Reply

      I know! Yes, it’s a good mix and match type of dish. So much fun.

  3. Angela May 6, 2024 at 9:35 AM - Reply

    I love this kind of melange. Can’t really go wrong.

    • Chef Mimi May 6, 2024 at 9:35 AM - Reply


  4. The Frugal Girls May 6, 2024 at 2:22 PM - Reply

    Your Ciambottini is a real feast for the eyes, I love all of the yummy flavors you’ve included. Also, that was a great tips for how to used the leftovers!

    • Chef Mimi May 7, 2024 at 6:42 AM - Reply

      It was fun to make, and even more fun to eat!

  5. sherry May 6, 2024 at 6:35 PM - Reply

    this sounds very flavoursome indeed. That name is a common Italian surname so I don’t think she made it up :=)

    • Chef Mimi May 7, 2024 at 6:43 AM - Reply

      But she associates the name with the root of the word this is based on. I don’t think the chef is claiming she’s the first to come up with this Italian word!

  6. Tandy | Lavender and Lime May 6, 2024 at 10:50 PM - Reply

    Sounds delicious!

    • Chef Mimi May 7, 2024 at 6:44 AM - Reply

      It really was!

  7. Gerlinde de Broekert May 6, 2024 at 11:15 PM - Reply

    This looks really good, so many different flavors and textures. Yummy!

    • Chef Mimi May 7, 2024 at 6:44 AM - Reply


  8. Anonymous May 7, 2024 at 5:22 AM - Reply

    Delicious! This is the kind of dish I could sit and eat all by myself :)

    • Chef Mimi May 7, 2024 at 6:45 AM - Reply

      I completely understand!!!

  9. Charlie DeSando May 7, 2024 at 7:02 AM - Reply


    • Chef Mimi May 8, 2024 at 6:39 AM - Reply


  10. Healthy World Magazine May 7, 2024 at 7:48 AM - Reply

    Served with a gin and tonic for sure! Can picture this already as a quick and easy make ahead appetizer for watching the sunsets with friends. I think it would be hard to stop eating if it was sitting in front of me!

    • Chef Mimi May 8, 2024 at 6:40 AM - Reply

      You’re correct on all counts!!! And I ate it all cause my husband won’t eat anything pickled.

  11. Jeff the Chef May 7, 2024 at 9:49 AM - Reply

    I love it! I also love the idea of serving it with cocktails!

    • Chef Mimi May 8, 2024 at 6:40 AM - Reply

      It was a perfectly fun combo!!!

  12. Ann Coleman May 7, 2024 at 6:18 PM - Reply

    That sounds wonderful! I always want something to snack on when I have a drink, but too often the choices aren’t particularly appetizing. And here’s a solution!

    • Chef Mimi May 8, 2024 at 6:41 AM - Reply

      This is way better than pretzels!

  13. Raymund May 7, 2024 at 8:53 PM - Reply

    Your Ciambottini recipe from Buvette sounds like a delightful mix of flavors and textures! It’s fascinating how Chef Williams created the name “ciambottini” to describe this delicious medley of ingredients. The combination of cauliflower, preserved artichokes, pecorino, salami, caper berries, olives, and roasted red bell pepper tossed in a tangy vinaigrette sounds absolutely mouthwatering. I can imagine enjoying this dish as a flavorful appetizer with grilled bread or as a refreshing pasta salad.

    • Chef Mimi May 8, 2024 at 6:42 AM - Reply

      Yes, yes, and yes! It’s really a wonderful combination. I would never have thought to include cauliflower.

  14. Eva Taylor May 8, 2024 at 5:26 AM - Reply

    What a plethora of flavours and colours, a feast for the eyes! Definitely cocktail food. I think I may serve this at our next dinner Party.

    • Chef Mimi May 8, 2024 at 6:43 AM - Reply

      I would never have thought to include cauliflower, but it works so well!

  15. spicedblog May 8, 2024 at 6:30 AM - Reply

    I was about to say – hmmm, I’ve never heard of Ciambottini before. Now I know why! This sounds absolutely delicious – it’s packed with all the things we love. Definitely a good recipe for entertaining!

    • Chef Mimi May 8, 2024 at 6:44 AM - Reply

      Yes! All of the ingredients are so good, and together they’re even better!

  16. I love that cookbook but have not eaten at the restaurant, lucky you. This is a perfect summer on the patio starter.

    • Chef Mimi May 8, 2024 at 9:05 PM - Reply

      Exactly! The restaurant was fun, but very crowded and noisy!

  17. David Scott Allen May 10, 2024 at 12:56 AM - Reply

    I could have sworn we were in for an Italian cake when I saw the name of this recipe — but what a wonderful surprise to find this incredibly savory dish instead! And I love that she made up the word!

    • Chef Mimi May 10, 2024 at 12:24 PM - Reply

      Oh, interesting! I might have thought it had something to do with seafood, but no idea why!

  18. Kunstkitchen May 10, 2024 at 4:38 PM - Reply

    Good for a warm day!

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2024 at 6:53 PM - Reply

      I’ll take it on a cold day, with the heater on!

  19. Frank Fariello May 11, 2024 at 9:53 AM - Reply

    This dish actually reminds me a lot of another Italian salad, insalata di rinforzo, the Christmas cauliflower salad so popular in Naples and thereabouts. Practically the same dish without the salami.

    Anyway, all that said the salad really does sound very tasty. And it does looks very appealing to the eye!

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2024 at 6:54 PM - Reply

      Oh interesting! I think I’d prefer it with the salami, but I prefer everything with salami!

  20. nancyc May 11, 2024 at 4:59 PM - Reply

    I’ve never had Ciambottini, but it sounds so delicious! I love every single ingredient in this—it’s definitely my kind of recipe! :)

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2024 at 6:54 PM - Reply

      The cauliflower surprised me, but it certainly worked!

  21. terrie gura May 11, 2024 at 6:11 PM - Reply

    This is exactly the kind of appetizer I like, Mimi! Savory and zesty with a briny punch. I’m thinking the strong cocktail I’d pair it with is a Negroni. The Campari would be a terrific match to all those salty flavors. For real, I want to be invited to a cocktail party at your house!

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2024 at 6:55 PM - Reply

      You’re invited any time! Every night here is a cocktail party!

  22. Anonymous May 12, 2024 at 4:01 PM - Reply

    What a delicious looking salad! It would make a perfect light and healthy summer dinner.

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2024 at 6:56 PM - Reply

      It really would! I might add some good lettuce, and a bit more cheese!

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