Side Essentials: Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

Andy Anderson !


This is an excellent side dish for your holiday table, or any other time. It is easy to assemble, and can be ready in 30 minutes.

I tried this dish with broccoli, but finally settled on cauliflower. Cauliflower has a milder taste and a nutty flavor note; like a butternut squash. I think it is a flawless complement to the salty tang of the Pecorino Romano, the olives, and the mellow taste of the aged Parmesan.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

15 Min
25 Min



  • 1 large
    head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 medium
    yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 15 - 20 large
    black olives, pitted, and sliced in half
  • 1/4 c
    pecorino romano, freshly grated
  • 1/4 c
    parmesan, freshly grated
  • 1/4 c
    panko breadcrumbs
  • ·
    black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

How to Make Side Essentials: Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin


  2. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  3. Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 375f (190c).
  4. Cut or break up the cauliflower into small florets.
  5. Blanch the cauliflower by dropping it into boiling salted water for 3 – 4 minutes.
  6. Then plunge it into a bowl of ice water.
  7. Once cool, remove from the ice water and drain on paper towels.
  8. Heat up the oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  9. Add the onions, and cook until tender, but not browned, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  10. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds.
  11. Add the olives to the pan, and remove from the heat.
  12. Add the reserved cauliflower, Pecorino Romano, and then mix to combine.
  13. Chef’s Note: At this point, season the dish with pepper, to taste.
  14. Chef’s Tip: Since Pecorino Romano is a very salty cheese, you will probably not need any extra salt in this dish. You might, however, add a bit more heat (red pepper, cayenne), when the temps begin to drop.
  15. Coat a baking dish with a bit of oil, and add the mixture, spreading out evenly. Mix the panko breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese, and add to the top.
  16. Add to the preheated oven, and bake for 20 -25 minutes, or until the panko/cheese topping begins to turn a yummy brown.
  18. Serve nice and hot with your favorite dishes… Beef, fish, poultry; it is up to you. Enjoy.
  19. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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About Side Essentials: Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

Course/Dish: Vegetables
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Italian
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian Wheat Free Soy Free
Other Tags: Quick & Easy Healthy

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