The seasons never cease to change. You only have to visit the farmer's market each week to know which one is at our doorstep. Fall is here and cauliflower, cabbage and comice pears are overflowing at farm-stands everywhere. Whenever a new ingredient appears at the market, it is instant inspiration for bringing a new or favorite recipe into my kitchen. The flavors are earthy and the food is hearty. The weather here in Atlanta is not quite yet consistently fall, but the food is the first to speak its truth.
Try one of my fall favorites: Baked Cauliflower Gratin with Walnut Sage Cream Sauce.
A wonderful holiday side dish, once baked the walnut sage pesto and cream create rich velvety sauce, a great compliment to the earthy flavor of the cauliflower.
1 head cauliflower
1 jar Bella Cucina Walnut Sage Pesto
¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup heavy cream
1/3 plus 3 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Preheat oven 350°
Cut the stem and leaves off the head of cauliflower. Remove the core from the center and discard. Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces and blanch in boiling salted water until tender, about 4-6 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place in a 9-inch round buttered ovenproof casserole dish and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the pesto, broth, cream and 1/3 cup of the cheese. Pour over the cauliflower. Mix the remaining 3 tablespoons of cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top. Bake until tender, golden brown, and bubbly at the edges, about 35-45 minutes. Serves four.