Crispy breaded cauliflower baked in the oven is a wonderfully delicious, simpler and healthy alternative to the fried cauliflower I grew up eating [and loving]. I made this tonight as a side dish to our Friday night family dinner and we could have easily made this the centerpiece of the meal. Crispy on the outside and creamy and sweet on the inside you're going to want to try this recipe / method with all of your favorite veggies.
|"cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education"|
1 head fresh cauliflower
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup all purpose white flour
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
non-stick cooking spray
Remove any leaves from the head of cauliflower and pare the florets. Begin by turning the head on its face so the stem is facing up. With a paring knife, remove the large center core and discard. Remove the florets by hand in chunks as pictured above.
Rinse the florets in cold water and then place in a pot with enough water to barely cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until barely fork tender. Immediately drain and run under cold water until cooled. Place in a colander and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 425*.
Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Now set up for the traditional 3 bowl dredging:
Bowl 1: flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Bowl 2: eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, parsley, cheese.
[beat these together as for scrambled eggs]
Bowl 3: bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
One at a time dip a piece of cauliflower into flour, then egg wash, then roll in bread crumbs and then place on baking sheet.
When all the vegetable is coated and on the baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and put into the center of your pre-heated oven.
Bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown.
I prefer to serve these just the way they come out of the oven but you can certainly serve with your favorite marinara sauce or an aioli for dipping.