When the other half is out of town I tend to pull out the foods he doesn’t like and gorge on them blissfully. Cauliflower. I just don’t understand how someone can loathe it. Rather than steam (a little boring I must say) or gratin it, I’ve gone with a method that’s often used in Croatia where it’s baked with sour cream.
This is not a wet gratin-style dish, although you could double the sour cream to make it more saucy. The texture has more of a baked quality about it, where the sour cream cooks over the surface, caramelising and adding a slight sourness to the overall dish.
I’ve stepped away from the traditional and added some julienned smoked pork loin, use speck if you can’t get it, and dark rye bread for the crumbs instead of the sandy stuff from a packet. Just blitz a slice of rye bread and you have fresh crumbs. Easy.
When chopping the cauliflower (buy one with its leaves still wrapped around the head) into florets be sure to keep all of your scraps in a bag in the fridge. You can make this soup to take care of those. Omit the speck if you want it vegetarian. This dish is actually really nice on its own, sipped down with a glass of chilled dry white vino. Well, it was for this boozer anyway.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes. Just make sure you don’t overcook them. Lightly oil a baking dish and arrange the cauliflower tightly over the bottom in a single layer. Don’t put pieces on top of the other, otherwise it’ll just steam and go soggy. Use two dishes if you have to.
Combine the melted butter with the sour cream and drop spoonfuls over the cauliflower. Season with the Vegeta and black pepper then scatter over the julienned pork loin followed by the grated cheese and finally the bread crumbs.
Bake for ½ an hour or until golden and the cheese has melted. Serve hot.