Saturday, November 2, 2013
Too often, the only time Cauliflower is eaten by most people is as part of a crudité platter or smothered in cheese sauce. I have nothing against either of these preparations – I love them both, but there are other ways to serve this much maligned vegetable.
Cauliflower has seen an increase in popularity since the diet gurus started suggesting replacing mashed potatoes with mashed Cauliflower – yum. Sorry, but I love me some mashed potatoes. Now adding Cauliflower to the potatoes is a great idea, but replacing the potato entirely? No way! Cooking Cauliflower to the point of mash-ability would cook the life out of it.
I am a fan of cooking vegetables without water whenever possible. I prefer instead to sauté, grill, stew, braise, oven roast or in this case a combination of two of these.
Yield: 4 Servings Preparation Time: 10 Minutes Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
• 1 Head of Cauliflower
• ¼ Cup Olive Oil
• 6 Cloves Garlic, smashed flat
• ½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
• ½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• ¼ Cup Grated Asiago Cheese
• ¼ Cup Dry Breadcrumbs
Step 1. Wash and core the Cauliflower then cut into 2” florets.
Step 2. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Step 3. Heat a large sauté pan with a cover over medium heat and add the Olive Oil. Reduce the heat to low and add the Garlic. Cook until the Garlic begins to turn golden and then use a slotted spoon to remove the Garlic from the oil. Reserve and refrigerate the golden brown Garlic in an airtight container for use in another recipe.
Step 4. Return the heat under the sauté pan to medium and add the Cauliflower florets tossing to coat with the Oil then season with the Kosher Salt and Black Pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the Cauliflower and cook for another 5 minutes to caramelize all over. While the Cauliflower is cooking, mix the Breadcrumbs and Asiago Cheese together.
Step 5. Transfer the Cauliflower to a 2 quart gratin dish and sprinkle the Breadcrumb and Cheese mixture over the top and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.
Drizzle with additional Olive Oil and serve hot.
Tips and Trending
~ Cauliflower has a very mild taste of its own and this dish is really intended to enhance rather than mask it. Instead of garlic, try one of those oil infusions you’ve been eyeing at your grocer. Or leave the oil au naturel and add a dash or two of a spice that compliments the rest of your meal. Just add those after you’ve caramelized the cauliflower because spices burn easily. With other spices you’ll also want to experiment with other cheeses or leave that out entirely.