One of our go-to side vegetables is cauliflower. It is easily transformed into soups, purees, “rice”, and pizza crust and it takes on a variety of flavors beautifully. Recently I made this cauliflower gratin and loved it.
I’m always so terrible about using actual recipe-recommended measurements and started with a full head of cauliflower of an unknown weight. I also had closer to 25 black olives and did not cut them in half. I also skipped parsley. So basically I did it all wrong, but I kept the main three components: cauliflower, olives, and that wonderful blessing called cheese.
All in all, it’s a pretty simple recipe. I started off by quickly blanching the cauliflower florets (boiling for a few minutes and then dunking in ice water). Once cooled, they went into a casserole dish.
I cooked a chopped onion in some oil until it began to soften, then added 2 cloves of chopped garlic and the non-sliced olives to heat up oh-so-briefly.
I tossed the olive/onion mixture onto the cauliflower and attempted to mix it. Do you know what happened? The Small Pieces (O&O) fell to the bottom in the nooks and crannies of the Big Pieces (cauliflower). I would personally recommend that you toss the florets, onion, olives, and some of the cheese in a large bowl, maybe with a bit of oil as well, so everything incorporates more evenly.
Oh right - the cheese! I went with Parmesan and it was not anywhere close to half a cup all in, but I covered the top of the casserole and it looked great.
Bake at 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes until the cheese browns.
It is so, so good. You have the cheesy crust on top, the tender cauliflower, and then the bright salty burst of olives. I served this on appetizer-sized plates next to massive bowls of mussels, but I assure you that I had seconds (and maybe J had thirds). Cauliflower fans, definitely give this one a try!