Here in NW Indiana we have had a glimpse of Summer. For the past week it has been in the 70’s and 80’s. To be able to open all of the windows at this time of year without putting on your long underwear and a sweater is almost unheard of. The Dude and I actually had to turn on the air conditioning the other day because the house just got too darned hot. I’ve also pulled out the sandals. Note to self – I need a pedicure!
Yesterday my beloved husband asked, “What are you cooking tomorrow?” My immediate response was, “Get propane, I’m grilling!” My dear mother-in-law gave us Omaha Steaks for Christmas, and we’ve been waiting for grilling season to cook ’em up. So, we are grilling some lovely small steaks and serving them on a bed of sauteed spinach with toasted pine nuts. In addition, and what I’m going to post here is, Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Pancetta.
A bit of history…. I am not a big fan of cauliflower. I’ll eat it, but I find it kind of blah. It’s white, it looks like brains, it has no taste. Okay, the “looks like brains” is a bit juvenile, but it brings home my point that I’m not a fan of cauliflower. Until now.
Since I really want to move out of my usual go-to recipes I decided that I’d make a cauliflower dish. Off to the Food Network website and Giada De Laurentiis. You have her to thank for this recipe. Enjoy!
Roasted Cauliflower with Parmensan and Pancetta
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into pieces (about 6 cups)
- 4 ounce piece pancetta, diced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 clove garlic, whole (NOTE: I minced the garlic. I didn’t want someone chomping into a big hunk of garlic.)
- 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. Transfer the cauliflower to a buttered 9 by 13-inch baking dish and let cool, about 5 minutes.
In a small skillet over medium-high heat, brown the pancetta. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, melt the butter. 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 garlic clove and 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, and the reserved pancetta. Stir to combine. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower to cover. Top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs.
Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cauliflower is cooked, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.