Adapted from a Martha Rose Shulman recipe, this went down a treat with a distracted Meredith, a moving target the other day with her mind on the Bells of St. Martin and their imminent relocation.
I like both the convenience and look of Gratins.
They often involve pre-cooked ingredients so the final stage is a simple matter of heating through which means you can do an assembly job beforehand, heat the oven and hey presto!
There’s a section on them in my new cookbook, Mediterranean Cooking for Diabetics, out March 3rd in the UK, August 3rd in the USA.
The juicy black olives lend depth and mystery to this simple dish.
“You are kidding me–cauliflowers bring mystery?!”
OK then–“lend an exotic twist.…”
1 medium cauliflower–broken up into bite size florets
3 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion–chopped
2 cloves garlic–pulped with a pinch of salt
a dozen or so, juicy black olives preserved in oil–stoned and halved
2 tbs parsley–chopped fine
4 tbs grated parmesan OR 2tbs each of parmesan and pecorino (if you use pecorino, keep in mind that it is quite salty.)
2 tbs wholewheat breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 190c
Steam the cauliflower florets to your taste in tenderness–I like them a bit firm.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft and browned a little–about five minutes
Add the pulped garlic and the parsley and cook for another couple of minutes.
Turn off the heat and mix in the olives.
Add the cauliflower to the pan and turn it over in the mix–seasoning as you go with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle over half the cheese and turn it over.
Taste for seasoning.
Turn this into a shallow gratin dish.
Mix the remaining cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over a tablespoon of olive oil
Place in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes.
It should come out sizzling quietly and nicely browned on top.
We had it with sautéed brussel sprouts.
Not the most photogenic dish, but scores high on taste and suitable for vegetarians.