Cauliflower and Orange Bell Pepper Au Gratin
Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 60 min
- 1 large head cauliflower (about 3 lbs.), cut into bite-sized florets (makes about 10 c.)
- 2 heaping c. orange bell pepper, de-stemmed, de-ribbed, seeded, and diced into 1" cubes (about 1 large pepper)
- 1/2 c. scallions (green and white parts), sliced crosswise into 1/4"-thick rounds, densely packed (about 1 small bunch)
- 1/4 c. curly-leaf parsley, finely minced and densely packed
- 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely minced & densely packed
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, densely packed
- 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, julienned and densely packed
- 2 c. part-skim (low-fat) mozzarella, shredded
- 1 1/2 c. fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 c. nonfat (or low-fat) buttermilk
- 3/8 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- Place cauliflower florets into an 11" x 17" (x 2 1/2") aluminum foil pan, followed by the orange bell pepper, scallions, and fresh herbs. Spread out ingredients across the pan, making sure they aren't on top of one another, so they'll cook evenly. Set aside.
- Next, in a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix together mozzarella, Parmesan, and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl until well-combined. Using your hands or a spatula, evenly distribute the cheese mixture across the vegetables.
- Finally, add salt, pepper, and; nutmeg, sprinkling them from a distance to evenly distribute. Cover with a large sheet of aluminum foil and bake in a 375°F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until just tender.
- Then uncover and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or more, until top is golden brown. Serve and enjoy.
- Chef’s notes: Instead of just using orange bell pepper, you could substitute yellow or red bell pepper, or use a combination of all three. I personally wouldn't recommend using green pepper, because it's a bit too bitter to be used in this particular recipe. This dish needs a touch of natural sweetness from the orange/yellow/red peppers to balance out the sharpness of the other flavors -- namely the rosemary and other fresh herbs.