Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Gratin with Pecorino Sardo Maturo PDO
Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Gratin with Pecorino Sardo Maturo PDO
INGREDIENTS (servings 4)

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 ½ pounds), broken into bite-sized florets

Kosher salt, to taste

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, divided

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ½ cup whole milk

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Sardo PDO Maturo, divided

⅓ cup panko or fresh bread crumbs

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste



Heat oven to 400°F. Grease 2-quart baking dish (can be rectangular, square, or oval).

Fill large pot with water and bring to boil. Salt generously and add cauliflower florets, cooking until florets have slightly lost their crisp but are still firm, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add flour, stir to incorporate it into leeks, and cook for a minute or two. Slowly stir in milk, breaking up clumps as you go. Bring to a slight simmer over low heat and cook until sauce has thickened, stirring frequently to keep bottom from burning.

Once sauce is thick enough to coat back of a spoon, stir in nutmeg, black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup grated Pecorino Sardo. Once cheese has melted, add cauliflower and mix until fully coated.

Transfer cheesy cauliflower mixture to baking dish and spread evenly. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with remaining Pecorino Sardo. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the gratin and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown and crisp and sides are bubbling. Allow to slightly cool before serving.

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