Recipes
Cauliflower Sformato

A sformato is a soufflé-like custard that is baked and then unmolded before serving (sformare means to unmold). You can flavor sformato with virtually any vegetable puree -- spinach is really good. This cauliflower sformato makes a great side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup bread crumbs
For the béchamel
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
 kosher {salt}
 freshly ground {black pepper}
1  freshly grated nutmeg
For the cauliflower
1  medium head of cauliflower
For the custard
2  eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
 kosher {salt}
 freshly ground {black pepper}
Directions
Generously butter an 11x9-inch baking dish. Coat the dish with bread crumbs.

To make the béchamel: Melt the butter in a high-sided, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk in the flour and then the milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. (Watch the pan, because the milk has a tendency to boil over.) When the sauce reaches a boil, stir and adjust the heat so it is actively simmering. Cook, stirring frequently, first with a whisk and then with a wooden spoon, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and keep warm over very low heat.

To make the cauliflower: While the béchamel cooks, put the whole cauliflower in a large pot. Add about 1 inch of water. Cover the pot and steam over high heat until the cauliflower is soft, about 20 minutes. Take the cauliflower out of the pot and allow it to cool; cut it into quarters.

Squeeze each quarter of the cauliflower in a clean dish towel to get rid of as much moisture as possible. Put the squeezed cauliflower in a food processor and pulse (make the puree as smooth or coarse as you like—I tend to prefer
some texture, but it’s a matter of personal taste).

To make the custard: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the cauliflower puree and Parmigiano. Strain the béchamel through a fine sieve and add it to the cauliflower; mix well. Season the mixture with salt and
pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon the cauliflower mixture into the prepared dish. Lightly bang the dish on the counter to distribute the filling evenly. Bake the sformato until it sets and browns a little, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Unmold and serve. Once you get the cauliflower
custard into the baking dish, get it right into the preheated oven.

If you let the sformato sit, the bread crumbs will start to absorb liquid from the filling, increasing the chances the sformato will stick.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min

Servings: serves 4-6

Recipe By: Marco Canora

From:  Salt to Taste
Used with permission of Rodale

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