Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin

Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin

Broccoli and cauliflower florets are smothered in a cheesy, garlic sauce and then baked off for one of the most comforting side dishes I know of. A sprinkling of bread crumbs over top forms a golden brown, crunchy crust that seals in all that molten, cheesy goodness. It’s rustic, warming and homey, just the type of thing that long, winter nights call for.

This is one of my favorite ways to eat broccoli, even though it’s low on my list of vegetables I like. Unlike cauliflower, which I naturally gravitate toward. That’s why I feel it’s safe for me to say that even the most pickiest of eaters will have a hard time turning this down. It transforms into something entirely different. And entirely delicious.

Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin

Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin
(by Reeni)

9 cups broccoli and/or cauliflower florets*
4 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup flour
sea or kosher salt and fresh pepper
red pepper flakes, optional
2 cups whole milk
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 heaping tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs

1. Grease a deep sided 8×8-inch casserole dish. Lightly steam the florets until just tender but still firm. Add them to the casserole dish. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat and saute garlic until fragrant. Whisk in flour and cook 2-3 minutes. Season well with salt, pepper and a dash or two of red pepper if desired. Slowly whisk in milk, turn up heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Add 1 + 1/2 cups cheese, stir until melted, remove from heat. Pour over the florets in the pan.

3. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese then with the bread crumbs. Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly and top is golden. Remove and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.

*1 large head of each

Broccoli and Cauliflower au Gratin

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Roasted Cauliflower and Sausage Spaghetti

Roasted Cauliflower and Sausage Pasta

Nutty, roasted cauliflower comes together with hot Italian sausage and whole-grain spaghetti to make this super comforting dish.  Nourishing to the soul, hearty, filling and packed with flavor, it’s dishes like this that I crave when cold weather knocks on my door…. 

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Roasted Bacon Cauliflower and Hash Brown Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Cauliflower w/ Bacon & Parmesan

I was pondering side dishes, and came to the conclusion that I have overlooked them for far too long. They are worthy of more attention. They can perk up a meal, shed light on an unappealing vegetable, and sometimes even steal the show. I was playing around with the idea of starting my very own once-a-month food blogging event featuring side dishes as the star. To test the waters here are two of my favorites. The first is a creation from my Mom. Potatoes, onions and Brussels sprouts are pan-fried hash brown style for a crispy and delicious result. They’re a terrific combo and I won’t eat Brussels sprouts any other way.

The second is oven-roasted cauliflower with bacon, garlic and Parmesan. Talk about melt-in-your mouth. I can seriously eat a whole pan of these for dinner, nothing else is needed or even desired. These are the show-stealers I was alluding to earlier that truly deserve your undivided attention. They are that good. Please let me know in your comments what you think of a monthly side dish event and if you would be interested in sending me a dish or two. And then go make one of these! Or both. You’ll love them!

Hash Browns & Brussels Sprouts

Hash Browns & Brussels Sprouts
(by Reeni’s Mom)
Canola or Vegetable oil, for pan-frying
1 large yellow Onion, thinly sliced into 1-inch pieces
4 cups Potatoes, diced 1/2 inch cubes
Sea salt and fresh pepper
2 cups Brussels Sprouts
1. In a large skillet or saute pan add enough Vegetable oil to generously cover the bottom. Heat the oil on medium and add the potatoes and onions. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Let cook until golden brown, then turn, allowing each side to cook to a golden brown.
3. In the mean time lightly steam the Brussels sprouts.
4. Slice the Brussels sprouts in half.
5. When the potatoes are golden brown and tender push them to the side of the pan. Add a tiny bit of oil to the center and the Brussels sprouts cut side down. When the Brussels sprouts are lightly toasted toss with the potatoes. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper if needed.

Roasted Cauliflower w/ Bacon & Parmesan

Roasted Cauliflower w/ Bacon & Parmesan
(by Reeni)
1 head of cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Sea Salt and fresh pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl toss everything together using your hands making sure to coat the cauliflower well with the oil. Add the Parmesan, season with salt and pepper and toss again.
3. Add to a 9×13 baking pan(line with aluminum foil/non-stick spray for easy clean-up) and spread out evenly.
4. Roast for 35-45 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and toasted.

Hash Browns & Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower Romano and Garlic Soup

Cauliflower Soup

This triple delight soup is made with garlic, cauliflower and Romano cheese. Fresh cauliflower is pureed to make up the base of the soup and a fresh garlic paste is melted into the soup. The end result is thick, smooth and creamy. Like liquid velvet.

What do you top a garlicky soup with? More garlic, of course! A thick and crusty garlic bread crouton was a tasty topper to soak up the indulgent, intensely flavored broth.

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup
(by Reeni)

1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, minced
2-3 tablespoons Olive oil
Sea salt and fresh pepper
6-7 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
5 cups Cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
1 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, shredded, plus extra for serving
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for serving
Garlic bread

Saute the onion and carrot in a large sauce pan or soup pot with the Olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Smash the garlic cloves using a large knife or a mallet on a cutting board. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Using the flat side of a large knife mash it repeatedly until it forms a paste.

When the onion and carrot are tender add the garlic paste. Saute for a minute or two. Add butter, melt, add thyme, parsley, and flour. Continue cooking for about two more minutes while stirring. Add cauliflower and broth. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Turn off and remove from heat. Let cool for ten to fifteen minutes.

Remove two cups of the soup and puree in a blender or with a hand blender. Add back to soup along with cream or milk. Bring back to a simmer. Add Romano and stir until melted. Turn off heat. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Romano cheese, and garlic bread.

Printable Recipe

I’m sending this off to Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper(Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sunday round-up.

Cauliflower Soup