Editor's Note: Some of the preparation steps were omitted for this Cauliflower Casserole recipe when it was published in Metro and Pulse earlier this month. The recipe is reprinted below in its entirety:
Cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are three vegetables I do not grow in my garden. After several unsuccessful attempts, I gave up trying to battle worms, bugs and fickle weather. These cole crops are also prone to a number of diseases.
All of these vegetables prefer cool weather, and they are very sensitive to temperature changes. They are usually planted in early spring, so they can be harvested before the hot days of summer. The plants begin to suffer when temperatures go above 80 degrees.
Cauliflower needs consistent moisture in order to form nice tight heads or curds. White cauliflower has to be blanched in order to remain white, which is done by covering the head with its leaves. I found that growing cauliflower is too labor intensive for a risky return, and I am content with buying these vegetables when I need them.
Recently, I found some beautiful, large heads of cauliflower and I bought one on impulse. Since it wasn’t on my shopping list, I had no plans for its immediate use.
I decided to look at recipes and make a cauliflower side dish for our Easter dinner. I found a casserole recipe that intrigued me. While I had all of the ingredients on hand, I didn’t have the amounts called for in the recipe.
I will print the original recipe here, but I used only half of the sour cream, mayonnaise, bacon and cheese that are listed. I did not think the flavor of the dish was compromised, and I probably saved a few calories.
For added color and flavor, I substituted three chopped ramps in place of the garlic.
This recipe could easily be adapted to accommodate one’s preferences. Low-fat sour cream and mayonnaise, turkey bacon and a variety of cheeses could be substituted for those called for in the recipe. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
6 slices bacon
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Grease a 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook bacon in a large skillet until browned. Drain and crumble.
Place cauliflower in a steamer and steam until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cauliflower, half of the bacon and half of the cheese. Mix well.
Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with remaining bacon and cheese.
Bake casserole in preheated oven about 20 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.