This is a hearty dish that’s just perfect for a winter night. You can prepare it in either small ramekins for individual servings or in a casserole dish and serve it family style. Romanesco broccoli, a delicious variety of green cauliflower, may be difficult to find. If you’re unable to find it, substitute broccoli instead. Both the cauliflower and the Romanesco can be blanched ahead of time.
Cauliflower & Romanesco Gratin, Cauliflower Cream Serves 6
1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets 1 large head Romanesco, cut into 1-inch florets ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
1½ cups heavy cream ½ cup whole milk 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese Pinch of nutmeg 1 cup Herbed Bread Crumbs 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
To prepare the cauliflower: Reserve ½ cup of the white florets and the white stems and set aside. Toss the remaining cauliflower and Romanesco with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Roast the mixture on a baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cauliflower has browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To prepare the cream: Heat the cream, milk, cheese, nutmeg, and the reserved cauliflower in a large saucepan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer over low heat until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Place the mixture in a food processor or blender, purée until smooth, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
To finish: Mix the bread crumbs and parsley together. In a large bowl combine the sauce and the roasted cauliflower and stir until well-coated. Transfer the mixture to a casserole pan or six small ramekins. Distribute the bread crumbs equally over the top(s) and bake until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes. Serve hot. The gratins can be made 1 day ahead. Reheat them in a 350°F oven for about 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through.