Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cauliflower Gratin

Adapted from More Vegetables, Please by Janet Fletcher

Serves 4

If you think people don't like cauliflower, make this. You'll be surprised at how fast it disappears.
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium cauliflower
Salt and pepper
2 cups soft fresh breadcrumbs
¾ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano and/or pecorino-romano cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower florets off of the thick stem, leaving the florets in large pieces. Steam the florets over simmering water for 3 minutes. Essentially, you want to just moisten them, not really cook them because you are going to finish them in the oven. Cut the large steamed florets into smaller florets.

Liberally oil a baking dish with low sides that is just large enough to hold the cauliflower florets in one flat layer with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the cauliflower florets in one layer in the baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the breadcrumbs with the cheese, and parsley. With your hands pat the mixture on the cauliflower, pressing it down. Drizzle the top with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and bake until well browned and crusty, about 30 minutes.

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