I love side dishes. Being a meatless grain-free eater, I always skip the main course table and head straight for the side dishes. (Well, and the dessert table, but, ahem, let’s move on…) When it comes to side dishes, the very best ones will be filling, flavorful, and not leave you wishing you hadn’t skipped on the lamb. This cauliflower au gratin ticks all the boxes.
You start by roasting cauliflower seasoned with herbs and lemon. Add fresh asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, and more lemon. As if that wasn’t enough to make you smile…you add a whole lotta gruyere cheese to make everything melt together. Set it under the broiler for a cheesy toasted top, and you’ve got yourself the perfect side dish.
Easter’s coming along. Just thought I’d mention it, in case you want to wow your guests with au gratin yumminess…
Cauliflower, Asparagus & Mushroom Au Gratin
- 4 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 large head of cauliflower)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup chopped asparagus
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms (I use shitake)
- 1 tablespoon milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1-1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, optional*
Preheat the oven to 475° and grease a baking sheet. Arrange the cauliflower florets on the greased baking sheet, and drizzle on the olive oil. Add salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon of the dried parsley, and half of the lemon zest and juice. Stir the cauliflower to spread the olive oil, seasonings and lemon around. Roast the cauliflower at 475° until fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Once done, remove the cauliflower from the oven, and let cool slightly while you cook the other vegetables.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, lemon zest and juice, minced garlic, asparagus and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until the asparagus and mushrooms have softened slightly, about 4-5 minutes. Taste and add salt, if needed, and stir in the roasted cauliflower.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the milk and 1 cup of the gruyere cheese until combined. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and the breadcrumbs, if using. Place the skillet in the oven, and set the broiler to low. Broil the au gratin on low until the top is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before enjoying!
*Feel free to use gluten free breadcrumbs, or seasoned almond meal for the topping.