Cauliflower is boiled, then dipped in olive oil, then gently coated in bread crumbs mixed with pecorino romano cheese and roasted until golden brown; leaving a light crust on the outside and moist on the inside. No need to add salt, the pecorino cheese and cayenne pepper give enough flavor to this dish. So delicious the whole family will enjoy!
Our mom is not a professional chef, but she learned her culinary skills from professional chefs in Capri, Italy where she and my Dad moved to live when they were newlyweds. If you are a cauliflower lover, then try our other recipe, "Cauliflower Salad" and more to come!
Here are some Tips: Boiling the cauliflower with bay leaves helps eliminate the gas from the vegetable. Our mom likes to buy cauliflower, bring it home and immediately cords and boils it until al dente. Then she stores it in an air-tight container. Kept refrigerated, ready for any of her dishes she decides to make that week. Also, never over cook the cauliflower, it can get mushy very quickly, unless you plan to use it in soups or other dishes.
Cauliflower au Gratin
- 1 medium Cauliflower, rinsed and cord
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano grated cheese
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- cooking spray
In a medium pot, add the whole cauliflower and fill with water until leveled. Add the bay leaves and cover.
Boil the cauliflower for 10 minutes, until you can easily put a fork through. Do not over cook, cauliflower should be al dente.
Drain, and allow it to cool.
Using your hands, gently break the cauliflower apart into medium florets.
Take each cauliflower floret and gently dip into the olive oil, then gently roll into the bread crumb mixture, until well coated.
Spray with cooking oil a 10 x12 x 2 1/2 baking dish or pan.
Place the coated cauliflower florets onto the baking dish.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Or, for a crunchy crust, bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.
Remove and serve.
Serves 6- 8