Crusty Cauliflower and Farro Bake

Here is another great side using one of my favorite whole grains, farro, an Italian rice product available at Hannaford or Ocean State Job Lot. This dish is perfect with a holiday roast or Tuesday’s baked chicken! Don’t skip the capers- you want their salty, briny flavor to “cut” some of the fattiness of the cheeses. Makes Servings: 6

1 cup dried farro
3 cups water
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pound head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons capers drained
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
6 ounces coarsely grated, sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup panko (plain Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Cook farro, using package directions, then rinse, drain and transfer farro to large bowl. Meanwhile, prepare the cauliflower. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss Cauliflower florets in a couple tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread florets in one layer. Roast for 20 minutes until lightly browned and crisp-tender. Reduce heat to 400 degrees.
Assemble casserole: Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to cauliflower and farro and stir to combine. Stir in cheddar cheese. Transfer half of the mixture to an oiled 10-inch ovenproof frying pan or equivalent baking dish. Dollop rounded tablespoons of ricotta all over. Sprinkle remaining cauliflower and farro over the ricotta, leaving the pockets of it. In a small dish, combine panko with pecorino, parsley and 1 tablespoon olive oil until evenly mixed. Sprinkle over cauliflower and farro. Bake casserole: For 20 minutes, until browned and crusty on top. Dig in. Casserole can be assembled and baked a day later.

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