Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Prosciutto

November 9, 2010 § 2 Comments

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I share another side dish that we love. Today, cauliflower. This year for Thanksgiving, the Mister requested my roasted cauliflower (courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis) since that has become one of his favorite side dishes.

Giada’s recipe calls for pancetta but I like it with prosciutto. I like it with pancetta too and use that when I can find it. But I like prosciutto better than smoked bacon, which is what I sometimes use as a substitute for pancetta. Of course use whatever you prefer or what’s available. I also love to use the different varieties of cauliflower that is now showing up in markets. I especially like the orange and purple cauliflower which looks great in this dish. The one I used in the photo was a beautiful “Cheddar” (orange) I got at the Poway Farmer’s Market. 

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Pancetta

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 6 slices of prosciutto, diced (or 4 ounce piece pancetta, diced)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole  milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 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 Italian bread crumbs

Directions

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.

While the cauliflower is cooling, in a small skillet over medium-high heat, brown the prosciutto (or 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, whisking continuously until the milk has incorporated and there are no lumps. If there are lumps, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Make sure the jar is vented since this is a hot mixture. Once smooth, pour back into the skillet.

Add garlic 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 prosciutto (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. 

Both the cauliflower and prosciutto can be made the day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before adding the sauce.

Here’s another shot of a plated cauliflower. So delicious! Think my SIL will change her request next year? I don’t know but I have a feeling this will be a new tradition for the Mister and I.

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