In my quest to incorporate vegetables more regularly into my meal planning, cauliflower has been taking a prominent role lately. Apart from the delightfully sweet and earthy flavor and crunch of fresh cauliflower, it's a wonderfully versatile vegetable that can star with so many other strong-flavored ingredients and in so many different cuisines.
Indian curries have long been among my favorite ways to feature cauliflower, but I've got to say now that Greek flavors are another favorite candidate.
It could be my weakness for good quality sheep milk feta cheese and Kalamata olives, but baking lightly steamed cauliflower and olives in a tangy herbed tomato sauce topped with browned feta cheese and bread crumbs was such a winning combination not only for me but also for my husband and best friend Basil that I ended up making it twice in short succession. It's that good, and disappeared quickly on both occasions.
This is also a great side to keep in mind when you need or desire to make things up ahead of time, because everything can be assembled in the casserole dish and left for hours on the counter or in the refrigerator before baking. I have a feeling that crumbled soft goat cheese would work well in the topping as well instead of feta cheese (just add more salt to the casserole in that case). But whether you use feta or goat cheese, the key as always is to choose top quality ingredients. Inferior olives and cheese will just mute the other flavors instead of enhancing them.
|Greek-Style Cauliflower Gratin with Feta and Olives|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine
Published on April 24, 2014
Fresh steamed cauliflower and plump Kalamata olives baked in a tangy herbed tomato sauce topped with feta cheese
More cauliflower dishes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Broccoli Cauliflower Mornay
Cauliflower & Olive Salad
Cauliflower and Green Pea Curry
Curried Cauliflower and Black-eyed Pea Soup
Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry
On the top of the reading stack: Dead Souls by Gogol
Audio Accompaniment: Nicolas Bacher