Cauliflower Finnish Style

It’s another brassica and stale bread dish, but this one is from Finland and it’s quite different from the Broccoli Italian Style. That one still feels quite summery, but this one is starting to look like an autumn dish.

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We use a lot of heavy, dark rye in this house, now that white bread is a rare treat. Let’s face it, most of what gets sold as rye bread is actually white bread with a rye flavour. What we use  – and what you want here – is the kind of rye bread that is dense and solid and made of rye with maybe a few seeds or grain kernels but no wheat flour.

4 servings
45 minutes – 20 minutes prep time

Prepare the Cauliflower & Breadcrumbs:
4 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups dark rye bread crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 375°F. 

Put a pot of water on to boil to pre-cook the cauliflower. Wash, trim, and break the cauliflower into fairly small florets. Boil them for 4 minutes, then drain well.

Meanwhile, slice or break the bread into fine dice or coarse crumbs. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is melted, add the crumbs and stir them in well. Toast, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, until dry, crisp and lightly browned in spots. Remove from the heat at once.

Finish the Dish & Bake:
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large egg
1/3 cup chicken OR vegetable stock
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Grind the caraway and coriander seeds with the salt, and put them in a small mixing bowl with the pepper and mustard. Whisk in the egg, then the stock. Grate the cheese.

Oil a shallow 2 quart or litre baking pan. Spread half the breadcrumbs over the bottom, then arrange the drained cauliflower evenly over them. Sprinkle with the remaining crumbs and the grated cheese. Pour the egg and stock mixture evenly over the cauliflower and crumbs, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned and the crumbs are dry again.

Last year at this time I made Pastel de Choclo con Acelga – Corn & Swiss Chard Pie