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Roasted Cauliflower au Gratin

Serves 4-6


Ricotta is the secret ingredient in this cauliflower dish baked in a béchamel sauce and garnished with zesty gremolata.


  • 2 large heads cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 lemon, zested, reserve the lemon for squeezing for juice for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Chop the cauliflower into medium to large bite-size florets. Toss the cauliflower with EVOO, salt and pepper to coat. Roast on a baking sheet until just barely tender but slightly crispy, about 15 minutes.
  3. For the topping, in a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons EVOO and the butter. When the butter melts, add the garlic, lemon zest and parsley and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the breadcrumbs and toast until golden. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until it starts to smell slightly nutty. Stir in the milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and reserve.
  5. Turn down the oven to 375°F. Mix the cauliflower and sauce in a casserole dish, then dollop with ricotta. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Finish the dish with a sprinkling of the breadcrumb mixture and a squeeze of lemon juice over top.