Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

++ This can be prepared GLUTEN FREE  !!

++  UPDATE – – EVEN BETTER WHEN MADE A DAY AHEAD !!      I just discovered that the next day the flavor of the roasted red peppers and cheddar cheese is infused throughout and the cauliflower is lovely & creamy !!  It tastes a lot like a very special version of Mac & Cheese.

It amazes me, now that I’m actually paying attention, how many fabulous recipes can be found which are healthy AND delicious.  Not only am I losing weight in my effort to eat healthy, I also have a lot more energy.  LOOK OUT WORLD !!

If you think you don’t like cauliflower, this may be the recipe to change your mind !  This is NOT your mother’s (or grandmother’s) ‘boiled all to hell’ cauliflower.  A light cheese sauce graces the roasted cauliflower with loads of flavor and there’s a tiny bit of heat from the cayenne pepper. And, except for garlic salt with herbs, there’s no salt in this recipe.  (This was my dinner last night, that’s how much I enjoyed this dish.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 7 cups cauliflower, cut into pieces 2″       ++ Uses 1 head of cauliflower, with perhaps a bit leftover
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/4′ strips
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. flour      ++  For ‘Gluten-Free use 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley      ++  Or garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt-free seasoning      ++  I like ‘Mrs. Dash – Garlic & Herb’
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 14 – 1/3 cup pine nuts       ++  a.k.a. pinola nuts        ++  You could also use walnuts or pecans
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 1/4 cups 2% milk      ++  I used 1% & that worked fine!
  • 1 1/4 grated Cheddar cheese

SET OVEN AT 425 (F)       TOTAL COOKING TIME – 25 MINUTES    (10 MINS, THEN 15 MINS.)                                           

Mix together cauliflower pieces, red pepper strips and 1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil.

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

Spread vegetables evenly on baking sheet with sides.  

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

Roast veggies in a 425 (F) oven for 10 minutes.  While cauliflower is roasting, toast pine nuts and prepare cheese sauce.

                                       Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper – After 10 Minutes

cooked -Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

TOASTED PINE NUTS  

In a small (ungreased) frying pan over medium heat toast pine nuts, shaking pan occasionally, until nuts become lightly browned.

CHEESE SAUCE

In a small bowl mix together 1 Tbs. flour  (For ‘Gluten-Free use 1 Tbs. cornstarch), 1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt-free seasoning and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Once butter is melted, add the flour and spices.  Whisk together and cook, stirring with whisk, for about a minute. 

Slowly add 1 1/4 cup milk and continue whisking until mixture is well blended.  Continue to simmer sauce for 4 – 5 minutes if using flour, whisking occasionally.  ++  If using cornstarch, the simmering time will be less.   ++  If sauce becomes too thick when using cornstarch, add a bit more milk.

REMOVE SAUCEPAN FROM HEAT.  Add 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese and whisk until cheese sauce is smooth.  Add toasted pine nuts.

Remove baking sheet from oven after 10 minutes.  Using a spatula, gently turn the partially cooked cauliflower and red pepper strips.  Drizzle cheese sauce slowly over veggies.

Return baking sheet to oven and roast for another 15 minutes, or until tops of cauliflower are nicely browned.  Serve & Enjoy !!

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine NutsRoasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

9 thoughts on “Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

  1. Thanks so much Mimi!! I based my recipe on one that only had the cauliflower and the cheese sauce…. which sounded a bit boring to me. I was so happy – esp, the next day – with how the roasted red pepper flavor had permeated the dish!! And I love the crunch and flavor of pine nuts. From now I’m going to make it one day – and then eat it the next day !! ++ On another note, when our twin sons were born in Longqueil, Quebec (a suburb of Montreal) we lived next to my husband’s cousin Mimi. She couldn’t speak English and my French was really, really rudimentary in those days. (It’s not so great even now!) Mimi and I became lifelong friends – we loved each other very much. Sadly, she died a few years ago but I’ll miss her always. I just love the name Mimi !! ; o )

    • Thank you so much!! When I’m ‘banging away’ in my kitchen I sure hope the recipe pleases people – and it was extra nice of you to let me know you thought it looked delicious!!

  2. I just sent in a comment, but I don’t think it let me post it for some reason. Anyway, just wanted to mention how good this dish sounds especially with the cheese sauce. I love roasted cauliflower, but was thinking I might be able to persuade my kids to actually enjoy it with the homemade cheese sauce.

    So glad to hear your healthy eating is yielding such great results!

    Best,
    Allison

    P.S. I hope I didn’t comment twice 😦

  3. Okay, you had me at cheese sauce!! I think I’d love this pretty dish even without it as I love roasted cauliflower. But, for my children…I think the trick to turning them into cauliflower fans would be the cheese sauce!

    So glad to hear your healthy eating is yielding such great results!!

    Enjoy your weekend!
    Allison

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