This roasted cauliflower gratin is a mediterranean take on a gratin. It’s not completely drowned in cheese. Not swimming in a béchamel. It’s cleaner. About the taste of cauliflower. Briny olives. Some salty melted cheese goodness. A hint of heat. Sweetness from the shallots.
I am a fan of vegetables. I am a big fan of roasted vegetables. Roasting concentrates the flavour. Pumps them up. You might not get that given the carnivorous bent of many of the posts here. But it’s true. I just don’t think the world needs another blog post about how to boil beans. Waste of your time. And mine. But vegetables should be celebrated. And this roasted cauliflower gratin does just that.
It’s not trivial to make. Dishes will get dirty. You need to cook on the stove and the oven. There’s a few ingredients But it’s worth it. Like many great recipes take a little effort. But that effort pays off.
Roasted cauliflower gratin makes a tasty vegetarian main but it absolutely shines as a side to a classic roast chicken. Just chicken and the cauliflower on the plate. Drizzles with a pan sauce from the chicken. Try it some time when you have foodie friends over for dinner.
- 2-2½ lbs cauliflower, cut into large florets (think 2 bites)
- 4 large shallots or 1 medium onion diced (about a cup)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp anchovy paste (optional)
- 12 oil cured black olives (regular kalamata will do in a pinch), chopped, plus a few for on top
- ½ tsp crushed red chili (or less if you don't like spicy)
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cups grated pecorino romano
- 6 oz shredded friulano or mozzarella in a pinch
- Pre-heat your oven to 375F.
- Spread the florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and toss to coat the cauliflower.
- Roast about 30-35 minutes. You want them soft, not mushy. They will cook a little more in the gratin..
- While the cauliflower roasts, heat a frying pan over medium low heat.
- Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook the shallots/onions until soft.
- Add the garlic, chili flakes and anchovy paste if you are using it and cook one minute more.
- Toss the roasted cauliflower, onion mixture, parsley, olives and ½ cup of pecorino Romano in a large bowl.
- Combine the shredded friulano and the remaining pecorino.
- Transfer to a shallow oven proof baking dish, spread the cheese mix and olives overtop and cook for 25-30 minutes. You want the cheese nicely browned and the cauliflower tender.