Roasted Cauliflower Caprese Casserole.
Roasting is probably our favorite way to eat cauliflower. Simply tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, then roasted. The cauliflower comes out carmelized, buttery and crispy. Sometimes, though, we want something different. So, we switch it up to add more flavor and freshness with this Roasted Cauliflower Caprese Casserole. It’s a good transition dish from cold weather to slightly warmer temps. The nights here on the Cape are still in the 30’s and days are in the 50’s, so, we’re still using our oven daily.
I have never been a fan of casseroles – or even hearing or saying the word casserole. It reminds me of heavy mayonnaise-laden dishes which I never liked and we didn’t have in our house growing up (tuna, macaroni, chicken, etc). This is not one of those heavy mayonnaise casseroles. This is a much lighter, fresher casserole. But with lots of flavor. It’s the kind of casserole that won’t remind you (or me) of a casserole, thank goodness. And you’ll be making this often because it’s that good.
This Roasted Cauliflower Caprese Casserole starts with roasting the cauliflower that’s been tossed with olive oil and Essex May Market Garlic Salt – the best garlic salt out there. My mother-in-law is an active part of the Essex garden club and the May Market hosted annually by the garden club. Each year she gets us a jar of this garlic salt at May Market. It goes pretty quickly in our house.
After roasting the cauliflower, you’ll add the tomatoes and garlic and roast a bit more. Then, for the last 5 minutes of cooking, you’ll top this Roasted Cauliflower Caprese Casserole with creamy mozzarella and crunchy, seasoned panko bread crumbs.
Adding the tomato, basil and parsley to this dish adds freshness and lightness, but you’re still getting a lot of warmth and comfort from the roasted cauliflower, warm mozzarella and crunchy panko crumbs.
Roasted Cauliflower Caprese Casserole – the perfect spring side dish to baked white fish and a green salad.
Here’s how to make it:
- 1 small head of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1 pint grape tomatoes (yellow or red)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 oz mini mozzarella balls, halved
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
- 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- 5 basil leaves, slivered
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Toss cauliflower in olive oil and garlic salt.
- Place into casserole dish and roast for 30 minutes or until fork tender, turning cauliflower after 15 minutes.
- Remove casserole dish carefully and add tomatoes and garlic, toss.
- Roast 15 more minutes.
- Remove casserole dish, toss veggies in dish and add mozzarella and sprinkle with panko crumbs. Place back into the oven for 5 more minutes.
- Remove, top with parsley and basil.