Romanesco Gratin

by Country Spoon

A light and healthy side dish for the heavy holidays to come.  Romanesco or Italian cauliflower may look intimidating with its lime green spiral crowns, but it makes for a simple yet elegant and healthy presentation.

Romanesco Gratin:

1 large head of romanesco

3 cloves of garlic – minced

1 large vidalia onion – chopped

3 T. good olive oil

2 T. whole grain dijon mustard

1/2 c. panko bread crumbs

1 c. asiago cheese – finely shredded

1/2 t. sea salt

1/2 t. freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium size baking dish, drizzle bottom to coat with olive oil – about 1 T. Heat water in a steamer. Start by breaking larger crowns off the head of romanesco, discarding harder white steams and divide each crown into thirds or halves depending on the size.  Keep breaking off crowns and dividing them if needed, keeping any small bite size ones whole. Steam for about 8 minutes or until fork tender.

Preheat oven to 375. In a small frying pan, heat 1 T. olive oil.  Once hot, add onion and garlic and saute until caramelized. Remove from heat and stir in mustard. Divide in half in the pan. In a medium bowl, combine steamed romanesco, half of the onion, garlic, mustard mixture, 1/2 c. of finely shredded asiago cheese, salt and pepper.  Pour into dish and drizzle with remaining 1 T. olive oil.

Add 1/2 c. of panko bread crumbs and 1/2 c. asiago cheese to the onion, garlic and mustard in the pan. Stir and scrap bits from the pan and top romanesco mixture in dish and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.