Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies. Whenever there is a veggie tray around, I always gravitate to those sweet, crunchy little trees of yumminess. Raw cauliflower is even one of my favorite road trip snacks. I tend to be a boredom snacker, and big bags of raw veggies (specifically raw cauliflower) are a great way to munch on the road. In fact, I think I probably ate a whole head of cauliflower by myself on our drive down to Florida last year. Yum!
This dish is one of my favorite ways to use my favorite veggie! Chewy, hearty, whole grain farro is mixed with tender cauliflower florets and then smothered in a gooey cheese sauce made with milk. The whole casserole is sprinkled with breadcrumbs and then baked until bubbly, browned and insanely delicious.
You could serve this as a great side dish for Sunday dinner (or supper, if you prefer) or, if you’re really craving some comfort food, pile a big heap of this into a bowl, crawl up on the couch infront of your favorite movie and enjoy it as a main dish.
If you’re not into cauliflower (gasp! shock! awe! horror!), you can easily use the cheese sauce in this recipe for any kind of veggie yumminess. It’d be delicious over broccoli, and this is also the cheese sauce I use when I make scalloped potatoes. Yum!
If you're not into cauliflower (gasp! shock! awe! horror!), you can easily use the cheese sauce in this recipe for any kind of veggie yumminess. It'd be delicious over broccoli, and this is also the cheese sauce I use when I make scalloped potatoes. Yum!
1 cup farro
2 cups vegetable broth
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup freshly-shredded fontina cheese
1/2 cup freshly-shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a medium saucepan, combine the broth and farro over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the farro is tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot full of water to a boil, add cauliflower florets and cook until fork tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While the farro and cauliflower are cooking, in a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the skim milk while whisking. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheeses, salt and pepper.
To assemble casserole stir together farro, cauliflower and cheese sauce until everything is well-coated. Pour into a casserole dish and then sprinkle top with breadcrumbs. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, removing the foil during the last 10 minutes to brown the breadcrumbs.
At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.
Cassie is a holistic nutritionist, cookbook author, and all-around food lover. She grew up cooking dinner with her parents every evening, and her passion for home cooking has been strong ever since. Cassie is the author of two published cookbooks (Cooking with Greek Yogurt and Chia, Quinoa, Kale, Oh My!) and dozens of recipes published in major magazines and newspapers. Cassie has been sharing her award-winning recipes on Wholefully since 2010. She loves dark chocolate, homegrown tomatoes, motorsports, and anything that sparkles. She lives in Indiana with her family on a small homestead.