Sign up for Smitten Kitchen’s email updates!  There’s always, always an idea that I wind up using straight away…this was one of the things that I printed off.  Think mac and cheese, but with cauliflower and grain, just don’t be tempted to top up the cheese content (like I did the first time, please use the amounts listed below), it’s actually possible for a dish to be too cheesy – enjoy!

Baked Cauliflower and Farro

1 1/2 c. uncooked farro, cooked until tender according to package directions and drained well

2 to 2 1/2 lb head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

olive oil, salt AND freshly ground pepper

2 T. EACH chopped fresh sage leaves AND drained capers

2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 t. lemon zest

crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)

2 c. grated Fontina (about 170 g)

1/2 c. ricotta cheese

Topping – 1/2 c. panko AND 1/3 c. grated Pecorino Romano AND 2 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves

If your farro is cooked and drained well, transfer it to a large bowl.  Preheat the oven to 400 and line a large baking sheet with parchment.  Add the cauliflower, drizzle it with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and use your hands to toss it around to coat it and then spread it all out in an even layer.  Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and roast for about 20 minutes until the florets are lightly browned and beginning to get a bit crisp.

Add the sage, capers, garlic, zest, pepper flakes (if using) to the farro, give it a stir and then season to taste with a titch of salt and pepper if needed.  Stir in the roasted cauliflower, then stir in the Fontina.

Lightly grease a largish casserole (Deb suggests a 10″ ovenproof skillet or equivalent baking dish), and then transfer half of the farro/cauliflower mix to the dish and spread it out.  Spoon rounded tablespoons of ricotta evenly all over, then sprinkle on the remaining farro and cauliflower without disturbing the ricotta.  In a small bowl, stir together the 3 topping ingredients and then sprinkle this over the top.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes until the top is crusty and golden brown, we enjoyed ours with a big green salad.

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