Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

side essentials: cheesy cauliflower gratin

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

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.

yield 4 serving(s)
prep time 15 Min
cook time 25 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For side essentials: cheesy cauliflower gratin

  • 1 lg
    head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 md
    yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 15 - 20 lg
    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

  • 1
  • 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.
  • 17
  • 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.