Cauliflower and Black Olive Gratin

Today’s
post for winter friendly Cauliflower and Black Olive Gratin probably seems a
bit out of place if your address lies close to the 120 longitudinal line.
 However if you inhabit a locale in the southern hemisphere where the
weather is cooling off or you’re indifferent about turning your oven on in the
summertime then this is the recipe for you! So if you are still with me read on
about this scrumptious concoction.

Many
people are familiar with potatoes au gratin a mix of scalloped spuds bathed in
cheese, and creme then baked to golden brown perfection. While this recipe is
very good I have two problems with it. 1 I’m not a big potato fan unless
they’re thinly sliced into matchsticks and deep fried; 2. This recipe is loaded
with lipids.

Cue
Cauliflower and Black Olive Gratin. The pedestrian potato is replaced with
crunchy, delicious cauliflower and the fat is drastically reduced by replacing
cheese with flavorful olives, garlic and parsley. The dish is then finished off
with a sprinkling of Parmesan and baked until the cheese achieves a lovely
golden tan.

Now
if you’ve been searching for a fantastic way to prepare cauliflower or, a
delicious and healthy alternative to potatoes au gratin, or if you just love
cauliflower make this now.

Cauliflower
and Black Olive Gratin

Originally
published in the New York Times January 8, 2013

by
Martha Rose Shulman

1
generous head green or white cauliflower (2 to 2 1/2 pounds)

Salt

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

16 imported oil-cured black olives, pitted and cut in half

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan, or a combination

1. Break
up the cauliflower into small florets while you bring a large pot of water to a
boil. Salt the water generously and drop in the cauliflower. Boil 5 minutes
while you fill a bowl with ice and water. Transfer the cauliflower to the ice
water, let sit for a couple of minutes, then drain and place on paper towels.

2. Preheat
the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin dish. Heat 1
tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add
the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes, and add a pinch of
salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, until fragrant and
translucent. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives.

3. Place
the cauliflower in the baking dish and add the onion and olive mixture, the
remaining olive oil, the parsley and half the cheese. Season to taste with salt
and pepper and stir together well. Spread out in the dish and sprinkle the
remaining cheese on top.

4. Bake
in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is nicely browned.
Serve hot or warm.

Yield: Serves 6

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