The BEST Cauliflower Recipe. Ever.

Who blogs about cauliflower? Tonight we hit on a recipe worthy of such attention. Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Bacon. What’s not to like – bacon, Parm, and you get a healthy serving of cauliflower? Try it. You WILL like it.

You can’t make cassoulet for three people without leftovers. With our handy dandy Foodsaver, it does “keeps” and reheats somewhat well surprisingly, and I pulled a package out of the freezer for dinner tonight. Regardless, I’m always baffled what to serve with cassoulet. It can’t be something too heavy. Salad? Bread? Certainly, but I had both cauliflower and bacon in the ‘fridge and this was the perfect side. Surprisingly Craig really liked it, “this is a keeper.”

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Bacon 
(based on a Giada De Laurentiis recipe)

Serves 6 – 8 and I cut it in half and had leftovers, but we had no Connor tonight

1 head cauliflower, cut into pieces (about 6 cups)
4 slices of bacon, diced (from “our” pig) or 4 ounce pieces pancetta, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk – skim milk works great
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the cauliflower for 2 minutes. And – it microwaves very nicely on the “Vegetable” setting, which is what I did – Fresh Vegetables.

In a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown the bacon. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the garlic to the bacon fat and cook until softened. Add the flour and stir until combined. Continue stirring for 2 minutes to cook the flour. Slowly add the milk, stirring continuously until the milk has incorporated and there are no lumps. Add the red pepper flakes and stir the sauce over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add the Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, reserved bacon, and cauliflower. Stir to combine. Top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs.

NOTE: If you want a better presentation, place the cooked cauliflower in a buttered 9x13 baking pan, cover with the bacon-parmesan sauce and sprinkle all with the bread crumbs. Since it was only for us and I didn’t feel like dirtying another pan, I baked it in the Dutch oven. This way worked fine.

Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cauliflower is cooked, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

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