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Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes and Feta

This hearty gratin gets its fragrance from cinnamon, its zing from the interplay of honey against the tart lemon, capers and feta. People who think they don't like cauliflower will think again. Delicious hot or at room temperature, it's simple to assemble and can be made ahead.

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano or a handful of fresh, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced, or 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper
  • 1 large cauliflower, about 1 1/2 pounds, broken into florets
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 to 4 ounces crumbled feta
  • Finely chopped parsley

Preheat the broiler, and lightly oil a 2-quart shallow baking dish.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, oregano and cinnamon, and cook until the onion is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cook for 7 minutes more, then add the honey and capers and season with salt and pepper. Slide the mixture into the dish.

Steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Set it on the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and add the feta. Place 5 to 6 inches under the broiler until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve. (If you are assembling the gratin ahead of time, cover and bake it at 400 degrees until bubbling, about 20 minutes, then brown under the broiler.) Serves 4.

"Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison

Friday, September 20, 2002

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