So this recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks Share, which I got my mom for Christmas. As soon as I gave it to her I took pictures of almost all of the recipes and I’m glad I did because I’ve loved every recipe I’ve made from it so far. This recipe in particular is a great way to make vegetables appealing, especially if you’re like my dad and prefer your veggies drenched in cheese. The gremolata crumbs also add an interesting twist and some extra flavor rather than just plain old breadcrumbs. They also make a great pizza topping, but that’s another post for another time.
- 1 head of cauliflower, about 2 ¼ pounds, cut into florets
- 3 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon cold water
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped shallot
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
- kosher salt
- softened butter, for the baking dish
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ cup soft bread crumbs, made in a blender from day-old crusty bread
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- finely grated zest of ½ lemon
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
To roast the cauliflower: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.
Toss the cauliflower, oil, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on an 18-by-13-inch half-sheet pan. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is lightly browned and just crisp-tender, 20-25 minutes (it will bake further in the oven when sauced). Remove the cauliflower from the oven and leave it on.
Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce: Pour the water into a small bowl, sprinkle in the cornstarch and stir to dissolve. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until boiling and thickened. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the Romano and Parmigiano cheeses, the sour cream, and the hot sauce. Season to taste with salt, but not too much, as the cheeses are salty.
Lower your oven setting to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Mix the cauliflower and the cheese sauce together in the baking dish. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the gremolata crumbs: Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until they are toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Stir in the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.
Sprinkle the gremolata crumbs over the gratin and serve hot.