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A common side dish, cauliflower casserole is frequently made in Europe and North America. The main ingredient is cauliflower, which is a member of the Brassica family. Dairy products are also commonly featured in this type of casserole because they complement the flavor of the cauliflower. The top of the casserole is often sprinkled with bread crumbs to make it crunchy.
A casserole dish is used to bake a cauliflower casserole. These dishes are fairly deep compared to their length and width, which allows the lower portion of the casserole to remain moist while the upper portion becomes dry and become crispy. In order to cook the casserole, the cauliflower and other ingredients are placed in an oven that has been preheated to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). It usually takes about a half an hour for the casserole to completely cook.
For the most part, the ingredients in a cauliflower casserole can be assembled in the casserole dish. The main ingredient is cauliflower, which is the flower of a plant in the same family as broccoli and cabbage. These vegetables come in a variety of colors, though they are usually white. They have a fairly strong flavor that goes well with certain cheeses and other dairy products. Before it can be made into a casserole, the cauliflower must be roughly chopped and sautéed until it is soft.
A number of other ingredients can be added to the cauliflower after it is placed in a casserole dish. Sautéed onions and garlic are often included and may be cooked along with the cauliflower. Milk or cream are commonly added, and condensed soups, such as cream of mushroom or broccoli, are commonly used in cauliflower casserole made in the United States. Cheeses, especially cheddar, swiss, or Parmesan, are also grated and added to the casserole frequently.
A cauliflower casserole may be seasoned with a number of different spices. Salt and pepper are the most common, though chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, and various herbs may also be used. The top of the casserole is usually covered with bread crumbs or dried onions to make the casserole crunchy. It is also possible to make a cauliflower casserole that includes a variety of vegetables, such as potatoes, peas, or carrots, or even mildly flavored meats, such as chicken. These ingredients may be cooked separately and then added to the casserole dish or left raw and cooked together for longer.
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