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Cauliflower Gratin I love creamy, cheesy, buttery vegetable gratins, but for this recipe I decided to rely on cauliflower’s natural ability to become an ultra-creamy puree and forget the heavy cream. Don’t worry, it still has the requisite butter and cheese, though less than what is normally used. This recipe serves 8 to 10 and can easily be halved. 8 Tbsp butter ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs 1 cup grated parmesan cheese 2 heads cauliflower, each sliced across the bottom, trimmed, and cut into 1 ½” florets. ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg ¾ tsp dry mustard ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp cornstarch 2 Tbsp minced chives Salt and pepper Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400 degrees. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in medium skillet. Add Panko and cook until Panko is golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool slightly and mix in ½ cup parmesan cheese. Place 3 cups water and 2 Tbsp butter in bottom of a Dutch oven with a tight- fitting lid. Add the cauliflower, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce heat to medium and cook florets until tender, or when a paring knife easily slips in and out. Do not overcook. You want the florets to be intact, and not mushy. Drain cauliflower, reserving cook- ing liquid. Transfer cooking liquid to a blender and add about one fourth of the cauliflower. Transfer remaining florets 9” x 11” baking dish. To the cooking liquid in the blender, add 2 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper (or white if you prefer), mustard, nutmeg, cayenne and remaining ½ cup parme- san cheese. Process until very smooth, about one minute. Combine cornstarch and 1 teaspoon cold water in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve. With blender running, slowly add cornstarch mixture. Taste cauliflower puree mix- ture and adjust salt, pepper and other seasonings if desired. The puree should be pourable. If it isn’t, add enough water so the puree pours from the blender. Pour the cauliflower puree over the florets in the baking dish, toss gently, and smooth top with a spatula. Scatter Panko mixture evenly over top. Bake until the sauce bubbles around the edge, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes, sprinkle with chives, and serve. Whole Pot-Roasted Cauliflower with Tomatoes and Olives If you read food magazines, restaurant menus, or follow food blogs, then you know pot-roasted cauliflower is all the rage. It can be served as a side dish, or a light vegetarian main dish. This tangy sauce goes beautifully with the cauli- flower. To make sure the flavors pen- etrate the cauliflower, start by cooking upside down and spooning the sauce into all the crevices. Finish by roasting it upright, with the sauce pored over, until the cauliflower is fork tender. This recipe was adapted from one in Cooks Illustrated. 2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 oz anchovies, drained and minced 6 garlic cloves, minced ¼ tsp red pepper flakes ¼ tsp salt 1 head cauliflower, about 2 lbs., outer leaves trimmed and stem cut flush with bottom ⅓ cup golden raisins ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped 3 Tbsp capers, rinsed ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese ¼ cup minced fresh parsley GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SPRING 2020 Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 450 degrees. Pulse toma- toes in food processor until coarsely chopped. Heat olive oil, anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes in an oven proof Dutch oven over medium heat about 2 min- utes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Stir in tomatoes and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in raisins, olives and capers. Nestle cauli- flower, stem side up, into sauce. Spoon sauce all over, cover the pot, and place in oven. Roast about 35 to 40 minutes or until cauliflower is just barely tender (a paring knife slips in and out with some resistance). Uncover pot, and using two large spatulas or tongs, carefully flip cauli- flower stem side down. Spoon more sauce over the cauliflower, scrape down the sides of the pot, and roast uncov- ered, until cauliflower is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pot from oven. At this point you can serve directly from the pot or transfer cauliflower and sauce to heated serving dish. Sprinkle cauliflower with parmesan cheese, and drizzle with extra olive oil. Cut into wedges, spoon sauce over, and serve. gmhtoday.com 87