“I was looking for a side dish for the Korean beef and noodles entrée.” This luscious, big deep dish of vegetables topped with Pan de Sal croutons, garlic butter and melted cheese could have been a main course in itself. It was one of the splendid things my son, Tim cooked for me on Mother’s day. My sons picked Asian inspired dishes for a whole weekend of cooking and feasting. It could have been any other weekend because they do this often when they’re home.
The heavy chunks of cauliflower were seasoned well and sat regally in this casserole filled with garlic butter and cubes of Pan de Sal, the Filipino bread bun. Pan de Sal (which translates to ‘bread of salt’) is almost like a mini sour dough bread, crusty on the outside, tender inside.
And to make it more irresistible, a hearty blanket of grated, melted Parmesan cheese covered the entire casserole as it came out of the oven.
This was special because it had flavors that complemented the Asian inspired noodle dishes and desserts the boys whipped up. I even sipped a thirst-quenching mango cocktail by my other son, Constante, while I watched the boys whip some magic in my kitchen.
Any mom would have loved this pampering. As for me, it was heavenly!
Oven-baked Cauliflower with Pan de Sal Croutons
- Oven-proof Large Casserole Pan: 9 x 11 inches
- 2 bunches whole cauliflower sliced in half-inch pieces, cored removed (about 2 cups) Cauliflower
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 whole large Pan de Sal buns (or use sour dough bread) cut in cubes (about two cups)
- 2 cloves garlic peeled; smashed
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees. Slice the cauliflower into half-inch pieces. Trim and discard the core which is the tough part of the stem.
- Take a casserole dish, measuring 9 x 11 inches (or its equivalent size). Rub the bottom of the dish with 2 tablespoons butter and season with salt and pepper. Take the cut up cauliflower slices and place them at the bottom of the dish.
- Cut the bread (Pan de Sal or substitute with sour dough bread) into large square chunks, about 1/2 inch in size. Melt the remaining butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and the bread pieces. Toast the bread till slightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, add 1/2 cup water and the oil to the cauliflower in the casserole. Top these with the toasted bread pieces. Sprinkle the entire casserole with cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake in the preheated oven 425 F degrees, for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender, breadcrumbs and cheese are golden brown. Serve hot.
- Recipe notes: to reheat, sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 5 minutes at a temperature of 375 F degrees.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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