Baked Cauliflower and Farro

In Washington, DC today it was a beautiful 71 degrees F! in February! We took a scenic 2 hour walk and just before we made it home, my favorite, friendly black and white cat Thomas was sunbathing and taking a nap on a car. I called to him and he came down to greet me and rubbed against my hand and legs and rolled over and over. I showered him with love, and when he had had enough, he sauntered towards the car, jumped up and started grooming himself. Ah the life of cats… we could learn a thing or two from them when it comes to taking the time to focus on and pamper ourselves instead of trying to accomplish too many things on weekends or weeknights like grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, chores, and cooking. I have slowly learned to be okay with the fact that I don’t have to clean right this minute or on a gorgeous Sunday and that it can always wait until the next day.

Before I get to the baked cauliflower and farro, I have to tell you that in my freezer there is a pitcher of Pina Colada  🙂 It’s the little things…

I love this dish! It is such a loved dish that it was finished in 2 days! So that tells you right there you have to make it. It takes a bit of time assembling and such but take that time and enjoy the result of your labor. Here’s what you need.

Ingredients for cauliflower and farro
1 Cauliflower (cut into small florets), the recipe calls for vegetable broth but I used 3 cups of chicken. You can use water. 1 cup farro (cooked), 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, 2 cups grated Italian Fontina cheese, 2 tbsp capers (drained), 2 tbsp parsley (finely chopped), 2 tbsp sage (finely chopped), 2 or 3 garlic cloves (minced), 1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp of lemon zest (lemon not in the picture..oops). Red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Cauliflower florets
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F and brush your baking sheet with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Make sure the florets are in a single layer, drizzle with a bit more oil and roast for 20 minutes. While the florets are roasting you can cook the farro.
Roasted cauliflower
They should be slightly browned. I may have gone over the time limit a tad but believe me, that is not burnt. It tasted so good in the final dish. Lower the heat to 400.
Cooked farro
Here is my cooked farro. I know it is a lot of work but trust me, it’s fun and you will want to see this through to the end!
Roasted cauliflower
The recipe calls for cooking the cauliflower in batches in a bit of oil for 6-7 minutes in a pan but I cooked them for less. I could have even skipped this step. 
Cauliflower and farro
Once you cook one batch of cauliflower, add it to your farro. Repeat.
Ingredients added
To the cauliflower and farro add the lemon zest, capers, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sage. Stir it up.
Fontina cheese added
Ooohh la la, add the grated Fontina cheese! Give it a stir.
Mixture with cheese
Look at it lovingly. 
Cauliflower and farro mixture
Oil a 10-inch ovenproof pan-I used my cast iron-and spread half the mixture evenly. Make sure you cover the entire pan area. Grab that ricotta cheese!
Ricotta cheese added
Oh my, oh my! Spoon the ricotta all over the mixture. Okay, yeah, so I used a bit more ricotta cheese 🙂 Admire it.
Cauliflower and farro
Cover with the rest of the cauliflower and farro mixture. Almost there!
Breadcrumb topping
In a small bowl mix the breadcrumbs, pecorino romano cheese, parsley and a tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle this mixture all over the top. I know you are salivating right about now. Bake for 20 minutes. After baking it I popped mine into the broiler for 2 minutes or so until it was nice and brown and crispy looking on top.
Baked Cauliflower and Farro
Here it is. Feast your eyes and help yourself to a generous spoonful or two.. or three…
Baked cauliflower and farro
Look at that beautiful ricotta cheese 🙂 This dish did not last long at all.
Baked cauliflower and farro
Open a bottle of wine and enjoy. It really does not need anything to accompany it other than your appetite 🙂

Recipe taken from Smitten Kitchen.

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