Braised Cauliflower with Tomato and Pesto
Creamy, homemade pesto tops this vegetable dish of cauliflower, bacon, diced tomatoes, fresh basil and feta.
4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 2 inch pieces2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil4 garlic cloves, minced3 shallots, peeled and chopped2 teaspoons crushed red pepper1 cup fresh torn basil leavesSalt and black pepper to taste2 large heads cauliflower, cut into florets1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Basil Pesto2 garlic cloves, minced1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted or 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted4 cups fresh packed basil leaves1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil1 tablespoon fresh lemon juiceSalt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until golden brown. Remove bacon and set aside.
- To the skillet with bacon fat, add olive oil, garlic and shallots; cook for five minutes being careful not to burn garlic. Add diced tomatoes, red pepper, basil leaves, salt and black pepper. Bring to a light simmer and add in cauliflower.
- Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish and sprinkle with feta cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
- While cauliflower bakes, make the Basil Pesto. Pulse garlic, pine nuts and basil until mixed together. Add in Parmesan cheese and slowly add in the oil with processor running. When oil is incorporated, add in lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning as needed.
- Garnish braised cauliflower with the Basil Pesto.