Make layers of baked cauliflower, ham, and cheese
In the tradition of historical adventure novels, "The Count of Monte Cristo" is up there along with "Treasure Island" and "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" as one of the most popular. And though it features plenty of intrigue, betrayal and disappointments, the hero of the novel was definitely missing some good food during his 14-year imprisonment. Whether the Monte Cristo Sandwich, which provided the inspiration for this dish, has any connection to the novel, remains to be seen, but we still think it's a great recipe. So let's get started!
- salt and pepper
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 cauliflower
- 5⅓ oz breadcrumbs
- 1¾ oz grated parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- ½ tsp Italian herbs
- 1 pinch grated nutmeg
- 4 slices ham
- 12 slices Dutch edam
- 3½ oz grated mozzarella
1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add in a tablespoon of salt and the juice of half a lemon. Cut the cauliflower into florets and cook these until they are done.
2. Take the cooked cauliflower and mash it roughly into a pulp. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan, egg, garlic, Italian herbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
3. Mix all the ingredients together well, then flatten out the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake the cauliflower in a convection oven for 15 minutes at 430°F.
4. After baking, cut the cauliflower bake into equal pieces that will fit in a rectangular casserole dish. Line the dish with one piece. Cover it with two slices of ham and then six slices of Dutch edam. Lay another piece of the cauliflower bake on top, then proceed with the ham, the cheese and last layer of cauliflower. Then sprinkle mozzarella on top.
5. Finally, bake your Cauliflower Monte Cristo in a convection oven for 30 minutes at 360°F.
If this dish was on the prison menu, then maybe the Count of Monte Cristo himself would have put his escape plans on hold. Luckily for you, you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home.
And if it leaves you longing for more cauliflower at the dinner table, you can find all the details for our Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole with Serrano Ham here.