crusty baked cauliflower and farro

I have been thinking about how it might be cool to do a bake pasta dish in which we swap the noodles for farro but leave all the great parts like cheese, so much cheese, chunks of vegetable and, most hopefully, a crunchy lid for years. Years! In that time, I have cooked hundreds of other things, some even not terrible, even, but it took until I handed my husband the latest Ina Garten cookbook and told him to pick out some things we should eat and he pointed to her recipe for crusty shells and cheese that I thought “This!” I last felt this urgently about swapping pasta for a grain when we made this, three and a half years ago.

a quick saute

I should not have waited so long. This was wonderful, a perfect example of the kind of cooking I like best: lots of whole grains and vegetables but no compromises in flavor, texture or a bit of indulgence. Nobody ate this for dinner just because they “should” and not just because half our family is under eight and definitely don’t care about “shoulds” at all.

cauliflower and farro
great dollops of ricotta

I made a lot of tweaks along the way. I felt that 3/4 pound of farro to replace the 3/4 pound of pasta called for would be overkill; I think most of us prefer it as a chewy accent rather than the body of the dish and used only 2 cooked cups. I found that since I was reducing the volume, I could reduce the cheese and oil too. But I kept all the other ingredients intact — capers and lemon zest and a lot of garlic and sage and parsley — and together this was exceptional, wildly flavorful, weeknight-friendly, vegetable-centric and entirely whole grain that tastes luxurious because did I mention the pockets of ricotta throughout? I did not, but you will not forget them. I almost wanted to call this a good macaroni-and-cheese stand-in but that seems unfair to both dishes, a prescription to make it seem like it’s coming up short when it didn’t taste the way at all.

crusty baked farro and cauliflower


One year ago: Ugly But Good Cookies and Swiss Chard Pancakes
Two years ago: Butterscotch Pudding and Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake
Three years ago: Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mango
Four years ago: Ethereally Smooth Hummus
Five years ago: Apple Sharlotka
Six years ago: Vanilla Bean Pudding
Seven years ago: Caramel Pudding and Barley Risotto with Beans and Greens
Eight years ago: Fig and Walnut Biscotti and Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew
Nine years ago: Crunchy Baked Pork Chops and Pickled Carrot Sticks
Ten years ago: Balthazar’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and World Peace Cookies

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Corn Bacon and Parmesan Pasta
1.5 Years Ago: Very Blueberry Scones
2.5 Years Ago: Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings
3.5 Years Ago: Grilled Bacon Salad with Balsamic and Arugula
4.5 Years Ago: Blackberry Gin Fizz

Crusty Baked Cauliflower and Farro

The original recipe has you saute the cauliflower in 2 parts with 3 tablespoons of olive oil each for 5 to 6 minutes to get the florets lightly browned and tender. I got away with using less oil but it never really got tender and I’m fairly convinced that roasting would be more hands-off and get a better flavor, so I’m suggesting this as an alternative below. I’d be hesitant to boil or steam, although it is faster, because the extra liquid wouldn’t be welcome here.

  • 1 cup (210 grams) dried farro
  • 3 cups water or broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pound (1 to 1 1/8 kgs) head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons capers (brine-packed), drained
  • 2 large or 3 regular cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 cups (6 ounces or 170 grams) coarsely grated, lightly packed Italian Fontina (Val d’Aosta variety, if you can find it) (buy about 8 ounces with rind)
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (25 grams) panko (plain Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Cook farro: Rinse and drain farro. There are many, many ways to cook farro and any of them work here. You can follow the package directions on any farro you buy for best results.

On the stove: If you plan to cook this on the stove and want to save time, you can presoak the grains overnight in their 3 cups of liquid and they should then cook in only 10 minutes of simmering. Otherwise, simmer the farro in water or broth for about 30 minutes, until quite tender. Drain any excess liquid. Transfer farro to large bowl.

In a rice-cooker: I cook mine on the quick setting and have been very happy with the results. Drain any excess liquid once the farro is tender. Transfer farro to large bowl.

Meanwhile, parcook cauliflower:

In the oven: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread florets in one layer, drizzle with 1 more tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until lightly browned and crisp-tender (they will finish baking with the farro). Reduce heat to 400 degrees.

One the stove: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add half the cauliflower and cook, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned and tender, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add to bowl with farro. Repeat with more olive oil and second half of cauliflower, then add to bowl. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Assemble casserole: Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to cauliflower and farro and stir to combine. Stir in fontina. Transfer half of the mixture to an oiled 10-inch ovenproof frying pan or equivalent baking dish. Dollop rounded tablespoons of ricotta all over. Sprinkle remaining cauliflower and farro over the ricotta, leaving the pockets of it undisturbed.

In a small dish, combine panko with pecorino, parlsey and 1 tablespoon olive oil until evenly mixed. Sprinkle over cauliflower and farro.

Bake casserole: For 20 minutes, until browned and crusty on top. Dig in.

Do ahead: Farro can be cooked up to 3 days in advance, kept in an airtight container in fridge. Cauliflower can be cooked 2 days in advance. Casserole can be assembled and baked a day later, easily, although the crumbs might lose their crisp from absorbing the moisture below if not added right before baking. Casserole keeps for several days in fridge and longer in freezer.

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335 comments on crusty baked cauliflower and farro

  1. Jamie

    Any suggestions for a ricotta replacement? I don’t have access to high-quality ricotta, and with all my trying, just cannot stomach the gritty, flavorless mass-produced version.

    Cream cheese? Cottage cheese? Creme fraiche? Goat cheese?

    I’m sure any of these could work, but wondered if you would lean a certain way for this recipe… :)

    1. deb

      Mascarpone, if you can get it, would be super-rich. I find cottage cheese grainier than ricotta (I’m using Polly-O here, and it worked great, not gritty) so I wouldn’t use that. Goat cheese could be good, but quite strong so you might want less. Creme fraiche would be nice, but would probably dissolve and become creamy, also delicious, just not pockets.

    2. Ellen N.


      Have you tried making your own ricotta? There are recipes on Smitten Kitchen. It’s easy to make, delicious and less expensive than store bought.

        1. Jess

          Making ricotta is awesome! Resist the urge the squire out as much why as possible at the end and you’ll have magic. (Otherwise it tends toward smaller grainier curds instead of big fluffy ones.)

              1. Tom Furgas

                I have a spelling checker
                It came with my PC
                It plainly marks for my review
                Mistakes I can knot sea.

                I ran this poem threw it
                You’ll sure be glad to no
                It’s very perfect in it’s whey
                My checker tolled me sew.

      1. Jenni O

        but be careful! Recipes that tell you heat it only to 165 will not work (I’m looking at you Kenji!) Deb’s recipe is the way to go.

    3. Cassie Sue

      I have found whole milk ricotta way better than the part skim stuff. So if you don’t have time to make it at home, look for whole milk, it is much creamier. Even my ricotta hating husband likes it.

    4. Andrea

      This is absolutely delicious! Cones together quickly once the various parts are completed. An excellent blend of flavors and a great vegetarian option.

  2. Stacy Ramsey

    I will definitely try this. We have taken to “steam & brown” cauliflower as a more tender, tastier (to us) alternative to roasted cauliflower and will try that here. Heat a pan, add some oil and the cauliflower. Toss the cauliflower to coat in oil (I guess you could do this separately, but why add a dish to clean), add some broth or water, about 2 – 4 tbsp, salt & pepper to taste and cover so the cauliflower steams lightly. When the raw look goes out of the stems, remove the lid and brown lightly. Toss and brown the other sides, serve as a tasty side dish.

  3. Chelsea

    This looks delicious! My husband is wary of whole grains (I kept trying to force quinoa on him for too long) but I think he’ll love this. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much!

  4. SallyT

    PERFECT! I have leftover fresh ricotta from making Julia Turshen’s EXCELLENT turkey meatballs. Any reason not to bake it in the cast iron skillet in which you cooked the cauliflower? Thanks!

  5. I’ve been using cauliflower in my cheesy pasta for a few months to make a combination of mac and cheese and cauliflower cheese, and to make me feel slightly better about eating ALL THE CHEESE. This sounds like a great way to make it even better!

  6. S Tseng

    This looks fantastic. Our whole family loves cauliflower – your cauliflower quesadillas are on regular rotation at our house.
    I picked up Ina’s latest cookbook from the library & was pleasantly surprised at how many recipes I wanted to try. We just had the mapled roasted carrot & the whole family loved it.
    If you can’t find farro at your local store, try ordering from Bluebird Grains Farm.

  7. Betsy

    Looks great — can’t wait to try. I just made my shopping list.

    A bit off topic, I need a few new skillets (in addition to my fav Lodge) — the one in one of the pics caught my eye. On my screen one of the skillets looks white on the outside? I couldn’t tell the maker. The first one in the pic might be a regular Lodge?

    Huge fan! Love your recipes! Tonight I’m making those nachos (can’t think of name — chickpeas and ..

    1. deb

      Yes, I ended up using a few pans here because I LOVE doing dish, ha, no I just planned poorly. I used a 12-inch cast iron (Lodge) to start. If you don’t have one, go buy one right now and come back and read the rest of this comment. It’s my go-to for most things; I’ve had mine for 12 years, I plan to keep it forever. The only thing that confuses me is that mine was like $20 in 2004 but I guess prices change. Still cheap for a lifetime investment.

      I then used this white skillet which is not my most useful, I was just a sucker for how pretty it is. It’s 10 inches, enameled and ovensafe.

      Last month I mentioned my best investment of the last couple years, this 11-inch braiser. I highly recommend it (over the white skillet). It’s both saute pan and short Dutch oven. It holds 4 quarts, I use it for EVERYTHING on a weeknight scale from soups to stews to even 1-pound pasta bakes. This would work fine in it too and you could even do the sauteeing portion in it. Oh, and it’s on sale at Williams-Sonoma still; much better price than I paid.

        1. DeeBaer

          The Target site also says that the pan is “made in USA or imported.” Well, which is it? If imported, that means China and no thanks.

          1. Anne Morgan

            Last time I checked the non-enameled Lodge cast iron was made in USA and Lodge enameled stuff was made in China.

            FWIW I was cooking in a Lodge enameled dutch oven and a 1″ diameter piece of the enamel popped and flew off in a million shards. It took 4 months of battling with customer service to get a refund, and when I did, I used it to buy a Staub and haven’t looked back!

  8. Claire

    Could you please tell me what size/which frying pan you cooked this in and whether – if you had to pick – you would buy the one used here or the 4 quart braiser recommended in December? I’m trying to figure out which would be the more versatile kitchen splurge. Thanks!

    1. deb

      I am using this one; it’s actually a tight fit in here. I would unquestionably buy the braiser first. I use that pan for 50% of my cooking these days, something that seems impossible given how many other pots I have, but it really just works for everything. You could use it here too (it’s 11″) and it would probably be less of a tight fit.

  9. Morgan

    If I wanted to add a little more protein, do you think some crumbled italian sausage would work? Probably pre-cooked and then just added in with everything else? Thank you! I love the idea of less-guilty-feeling comfort food, especially in January.

  10. Kate

    I made this in the pasta version and was incredibly disappointed. I liked the flavor accents, but it’s so rare that I allow myself a mac and cheese splurge, I want it to be mac and cheese. Sadly, there was no creaminess at all since there was no bechamel base. I wonder if this is a better way to get that delightful flavor without expecting creaminess, and then being disappointed by a lack of it?

    1. michelle

      Why would you have expected this to be a stand-in for mac and cheese? Especially, since, like you pointed out, there is no bechamel base. Sounds like you kinda set yourself up for disappointment..

  11. Ryan

    I’m surprised to see ricotta in a baked dish here. Does the shorter cooking time (vs. something like lasagna) make it more palatable?

      1. deb

        You know what? It might be! But I also wonder if its graininess is often particularly noticeable against tomato sauce. It’s possible that the acidity of the tomatoes makes it more curd-like. Here — and I mentioned this in another comment, but I had some days-before-expiration Polly-O in the fridge, i.e. not the most artisanal stuff — it was surprisingly creamy and the pockets were almost stretchy. It was a major bonus of the dish.

        1. Francoise

          My favorite supermarket brand of ricotta cheese is either Calabro or the TJ’s brand. Both whole milk. I find that the low fat versions tend to have that grainy aspect which is so unpleasant.

  12. As usual, you have an intriguing recipe that I must try, along with many interesting comments. I always learn so much! I must learn to make ricotta–it is hard to find here, because we are close to Spain, not Italy, so everything is French, French, French or Spanish. I recently tried farro and it was quite pleasant. You’ve given me a reason to try it again. And cauliflower! I tried cauliflower rice and was disappointed (though I love cauliflower to the point of steaming an entire head and eating it all myself, with a little salt and pepper). I must get the rest of the family to love cauliflower as much as I do.
    Thank you!!!

  13. Erin

    Oooh. I’ve been on a crazy farro kick lately. I’m sorry to be obnoxious, but does anyone have any ideas on subs for cauliflower? My husband isn’t the biggest fan in the world. I suppose broccoli? Or should I just make it and eat the pan myself? :)

    1. Anne

      Hi Erin, have you tried oven roasting the cauliflower? (As Deb suggests) it does taste quite different/better. Your husband might like it that way.

      1. Erin

        Anne, he doesn’t like it even roasted. (Sigh.) Made into pureed cauliflower to resemble potatoes (of course with all-the-garlic, all-the-butter, so who wouldn’t?) is the only pass. I’m still planning on making this just for myself. ;)

  14. Katie

    I am wondering: what is the best approach to freezing this? Freeze before cooking? Defrost before cooking (says the person that never plans ahead and probably won’t do that) or bump up the cooking time (how long?)? Thanks!

  15. I’m definitely making this in the near future – it sounds simple and seasonal but full flavour!

    However, I’d love to know – does your daughter eat this? I’ve got a toddler just a couple months younger, and although the kid eats most of what we eat gets plenty of spices I’m still paranoid about cooking for him with particularly salty ingredients like capers or olives or feta. (All of which I love and kind of miss, as much as I also love eating together as much as we can.)

    1. deb

      She LOVED this. She is working on holding a fork and kept handing it back to me to reload, like, way faster than I could reload. And also, the red pepper flakes I used were really spicy and I was really shocked the kids didn’t mind. That said, at least until recently, she mostly seemed to live on blueberries and broccoli. Not bad, but she threw almost everything else on the floor. She’s gotten much better in the last month or two. I think she actually likes stronger tastes more than milder ones. And french fries, oof. In short, which this comment is not, I think it’s a total roulette whether or not your kid likes a certain food but if you like it and want it — and therefore look forward to cooking it and making dinner doesn’t feel like drudgery or like you’re a short-order cook, thus is infinitely more sustainable — I always vote for making something and trusting that kids are more likely to come around if they have to.

      1. Charlotte in Toronto

        My niece developed a love of strong tasting food at a very early age. By the time she was two she was willingly wolfing down black olives, blue cheese, smoked oysters, any and all veggies, you name it. As a baby she welcomed blender-pulverized broccoli with wide open arms. No Cherrios and apple juice for her. Mealtime was always a delight. There was never a struggle. On one ocassion when out for dinner, she would have been ten at the time, she ordered roast smoked breast of duck in peppercorn Mederra sauce with pumpkin risotto. She practically licked the plate. I guess some kids are like this. But I’ll bet it’s not a common phenomenon.

      2. That’s good to know! I’m slowly relaxing from ‘no salt ever’ but still suffering from new mom nervousness when it comes to figuring out dinners that we can all (at least try to) eat and enjoy. (I wouldn’t call my kid picky, but I am sure that if he could live on blueberries, eggs and pasta he’d be perfectly happy!)

        1. Ashley A

          I have three little ones who go back and forth between being great eaters and non-eaters, typical! To anyone with littles I would recommend the Dinner: A Love Story cookbook (and blog). Jenny’s tips and stories about helping kids become eaters are gold.

            1. deb

              On a genuine note, I have wanted to read that book.

              On a slightly less genuine note, I’ve also wanted to write a book called All Kids Eat Everything (If You Don’t Serve Them Anything Else) but I’d be begging for some karmic comeuppance, so really shouldn’t.

  16. NJ cook

    Clicking on this link takes one back to the current home page of this blog:
    A bit liberally tweaked from Ina Garten

    Was it intended to jump to the original Garten recipe, or an ad for her book, etc.?

  17. Kitt

    This sounds absolutely delicious. I would like to make it for dinner, but I do not have faro in the house. Would quinoa be a possible substitute? Thanks.

    1. I’m not Deb, but as you can see from my comment below, I’ve made quite a few adaptations and it was delicious! :) I would say go for it. The chewiness of a bigger grain is definitely great here, but it will be awesome even with the daintier quinoa!

  18. Deliciousness! – although made a few adaptations: pearl barley instead of farro and used a bit less, added some broccoli to the cauliflower, couldn’t get Fontina so used a mix of mozzarella and cheddar, and no Pecorino either so used Grana Padano. Probably a bit more lemon zest and capers too. So good – will make again and again! It tasted as if there was some butter in it, and yet light at the same time.

  19. Jackie

    Made this for dinner last night and it was…not great. I think it’s my fault but there was just way too much going on. I would recommend that you follow Deb’s instructions exactly because I think that is where I went wrong (rookie mistake). I used four very large cloves of garlic and because they weren’t softened on the stove, the garlic flavor was very intense. I also substituted half Gouda because I didn’t have enough Fontina and I think it was a bad choice to introduce another flavor. If you have to substitute at all, make sure you go with a bit more neutral flavor. I also felt like this amount of sage was a bit much but maybe that’s only because of the other mistakes.

    TL:DR this batch went down the drain because of modifications but I’ll try again! Love the concept.

  20. Oh! My! Gosh! Deb, you’re killing me! This sounds so fantastic! It’s breakfast and I want to hurry to the grocery store and make it ASAP. My new year’s resolution was to be more adventuresome in our meals. Oh, yes and to be prepared. I sometimes am in a rush or working on a blog and it’s dinner time and nothing is prepared. :-( So I do an old faithful recipe we’ve had thousands of times throughout the years. You know, not bad but not something your taste buds stand to attention just in anticipation. I’ll tag you when I make this. Now, your one-pot recipe with farro and tomatoes was a huge hit. I tweaked the recipe a bit. We love farro. I think my readers believe I own stock in it. Have a great weekend.

  21. marilyn

    I just made this last night, the original way. Am going to try this in a few days. I used fresh mozzarella instead of the fortina. And I fried the cauliflower I’m 3 batches. This looks a lot easier, thanks!

  22. Rebecca Howell

    This sounds delicious. How would it work with brown rice? I have some leftover in the fridge. I also have romanesco cauliflower, and not white cauliflower, but I think it would work.

  23. Linda

    Looks and sounds great! I have a jar of Farro that I’ve needed a recipe to use it for a long time. This would be terrific. Think I’ll put asperagus in it that are waiting to be used. You can do a lot with this recipe. Thank you

  24. Deirdre

    I made this last night with broccoli, Dubliner cheddar cheese, small curd cottage cheese and rosemary instead of sage (had the last three in the fridge already) and it was delicious. My husband ate two plates, and did not even douse it in Worcestershire sauce, his highest compliment. I cooked the farro in broth made with homemade vegetable bouillion which always adds to the flavor of any grain.

    1. amerusi

      This looks like a perfect meal to me, but I’ll be skipping the capers. I’ve adopted Nora Ephron’s stance on them: any dish that tastes good with capers in it tastes even better with capers not in it.

      1. sparkgrrl658

        that is so funny, i think i’m going to borrow that one. i definitely like “frizzled” capers more than just the cooked variety, but after cooking them a few different ways (whole, frizzled, blended into a sauce) i think i’m finally ready to give up on them. not terrible, just not my favorite so that quote is very fitting, haha.

          1. sparkgrrl658

            it basically means fried :)

            you put a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and get it hot, and add in the capers. they will sizzle and pop, and when they’re done in a minute or two they’ll just be little crispy salty bits. they add texture but then also disappear in your mouth at the same time.

            i first tried it with ina garten’s “caesar roasted fish” recipe (which is on food network’s website) which was very good, but also still just as good without, if you end up not caring for the capers, or like me the last time i cooked it – too lazy to do that part :)

          2. Diane

            There is a Smitten Kitchen recipe for a cauliflower slaw with fried capers and they are lovely. Usually, I’m not really a fan but when you fry them the flowers open up and they become lovely little salty bits.

  25. Kathy

    This was delicious! Roasted the cauliflower and it was done at the same time as the farro. I’ll look forward to making it again. Already getting requests to forward the recipe.

  26. Meleyna

    Just commenting to say that ten years ago you made Balthazar’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and World Peace Cookies. Those are probably two of my very most favorite recipes I’ve found through you.

    Also, I started reading this blog while being held hostage in my home during nap time when my son was a tiny infant babe. And that tiny infant babe is now nine.

    Ten years!

  27. Karen

    Just polished off a healthy serving of this delicious dish. Lots of complementary flavors and a good variety of textures. I love your creative use of farro in both this dish and your one pot farro with tomato variation on Martha Stewart’s popular recipe. I substituted strained greek yogurt for the ricotta; it held its form just fine, but I found it a bit too tangy. I will try the ricotta next time. Thank you for another great recipe!

  28. Deb

    I made your recipe tonight and it was delicious! Not having any farro, I almost substituted quinoa. However I had a lot of baby spinach in the fridge and decided to try that instead. Very yum. I felt lazy and wanted to make this as a one pot meal, so I pan roasted the cauliflower in my cast iron skillet (it took maybe 10 minutes) and made your casserole in the same pan. Very easy, very delicious!!!

  29. sparkgrrl658

    this looks really good. i’ve never cooked with (or eaten) farro before and my partner isn’t crazy about cauliflower so i think i’ll make a small version and have it as lunches to try it out.

    also, i couldn’t help but notice how many puddings came up in the links to past years recipes. i always find that so neat. obviously with seasonal ingredients or things like the new year soup it’s par for the course, but are the puddings a happy accident or just something you like to make this time of year for some reason?

  30. dmerrell51565

    I have a bunch of raclette in the refrigerator we need to eat. What do you think about substituting it for the fontina, Deb? Different flavors but the nuttiness of the raclette might go well w cauliflower.

    1. B

      Cheese professional here- Raclette should be a fine substitute here! Depending on the maker of each, the Raclette might melt at a lower temp and end up more goo-y than stretch-y if that makes sense.

  31. I just got the new Ina Garten cookbook for Christmas and also decided that the crusty shells recipe would be the first one to try. I just bought ingredients today before looking at your post. I’ll be roasting the cauliflower.


  32. Naomi

    Made this last night accompanied with some lemon-pepper broiled salmon and it was drop dead deelish! Instead of Pecorino for the Panko topping, I used grated Parmesan that I had laying around in the fridge and it worked wonderfully. 20 minutes didn’t seem long enough for my dish to heat all the way through (my oven registered at 400 with an oven thermometer) – but an extra 10-15 minutes did the trick. Leftovers heated up beautifully for supper tonight. Thanks for the stellar recipe – it’s a keeper!

  33. Andrea Harris

    I made this dish today for company. Couldn’t get the fontina to grate, so I diced it
    fairly small. Also, coulldn’t get Pecorino so Parmesan worked fine. The dish is pretty forgiving.

  34. Elizabeth

    LOVE this! I’ve been looking for an easy cauliflower recipe to love. Lately I’ve had cauliflower out at restaurants or at friends’ houses and loved it, but never found a way to duplicate results at home. And I WANT to love cauliflower, especially when I contemplate the sadness of the winter produce from Peru, Chile, etc in my grocery store. So I tried this, and it was wonderful–no virtue involved in eating it, just pleasure. Thanks, Deb, another one out of the park.
    I did jack up some of the herbs, garlic, and I cut down the salt a tad, but only because my current wedge of pecorino is really unusually salty.

  35. Springb

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I used the oven roasting method for the cauliflower and served it with a simple salad. Thanks for the recipie!

  36. Italians use farro a lot. I love pasta made with farro too and in Italy it is very popular and just slightly more expensive than ordinary wheat pasta. It is a healthy grain to have. So great the way you have cooked it here and very healthy too.

  37. michelle lee

    you are amazing, and also, you and I must have some kind of telepathy going on because I recently bought not only the cauliflower, but also pecorino (uncommon) and farro (even more uncommon). As I checked the pecorino out I was like, I guess it’s pasta time again, but cripes! the farro! carb overload! ack!

    But I still bought the pecorino anyway because, you know, cheese.

    You must be my fairy godmother.

  38. This dish was so amazing! I had goat cheese on hand so I subbed that for the ricotta because I didn’t feel like running to the grocery store, and then we added a little bit of chopped bacon because, you know, bacon. My teenager sons devoured it and asked for thirds — I guess next time it’ll be a double batch.

  39. Sarah

    Made this last night and I wish I had left out the capers. I didn’t think they went well with the cheese. I liked the texture though (used roast cauli) and I will probably make it again.

    1. Julie

      Ditto! The capers ruined it for me. I think I have to throw the whole pan out – no one will eat it. I’ve never had an issue with capers before so I think it was the flavor combinations that didn’t work for me. Thankfully we were able to fill up on the extra roasted cauliflower and broccoli I had. Win some lose some!

  40. Sharon

    So funny – I made the original Ina Garten recipe last week and while it was delicious, I found myself wondering what you would have done differently. Glad I have my answer and a new recipe for dinner :)

  41. June2

    I made a gluten-free vegan version of this using fresh sage from the garden, grated store-bought vegan cheese that melts, homemade cashew sour cream dollops for the ricotta, and shredded coconut in place of the bread crumbs. It was just ok that night but absolutely delicious the next day! Needed a day for the flavors to meld, I suppose! Thanks!

  42. Jane Wilson

    Delicious. I reduced the garlic to one clove, and used gruyere cheese instead of fontina (because I had some of the former on hand). But, best of all was day two. I topped some of the reheated gratin with a SK poached egg. Now we’re talking.

  43. Barbara H

    I just put this in the oven and boy howdy, it smells so delicious in my kitchen. I followed the recipe with only one substitution (for a good reason!). Since I’m also making the black bean soup with cumin crema tomorrow, I substituted in crema for the ricotta. Different texture but it looks pretty yummy.

  44. Made this for dinner last night and I’m already looking forward to having the leftovers this week. I added in a can of white beans (drained and rinsed) for some protein and they worked perfectly.

    1. I ended up freezing a few servings of this individually and forgot about them until this week. I was unenthusiastic because ugh, it just looks like a beige crusty lump with a little bit of freezer burn, but I didn’t feel like digging further into the freezer for something else so I had it for lunch and wow. I forgot how good this dish is, and it didn’t suffer at all from 5 1/2 months in the freezer.

  45. Made this yesterday; had the rest of it tonight. My husband loved it and, truth be told, I had to stop myself from going back for thirds. I had a 24 oz bag of cauliflower on hand so I added a well drained 14 oz can of artichoke hearts to the mix to get closer to the total volume. Really quick and easy, too. Can’t wait to make it again.

  46. Lynne

    This was a brilliant recipe. And roasting the cauliflower is definitely the way to go – fast and easy and the best flavor. I used gruyere instead of fontina and it worked very well.

  47. Dahlink

    Another happy cook here. I made this using the roasting method (what could be easier?) and I subbed some Brie left over from a party for the Fontina. The weather was my least favorite “wintry mix” when I made this, so I skipped the fresh sage, but otherwise made it according to specifications. I don’t understand those who don’t love capers, but I can see that this would be good even without them.

  48. Garlic + Zest

    This looks absolutely divine. I was thinking about using farro in a casserole like this, but like you thought too much farro would just be too much. I love the cauliflower in this dish — not to mention the ricotta and herbs. Wow – you’ve done it again!

  49. Made this last night. LOVE! Creamy, crunchy, salty, veggie delish! Great for a meatless Monday meal. I roasted the cauliflower a little longer – 30 minutes, stirring it around 1/2 way through. Golden brown, deep flavor, perfect texture – no need to fry it (or use another pan). I forgot to buy sage but had fresh dill on the counter so I sprinkled that on top before serving. Thank goodness there are leftovers!

  50. Hi Deb,

    I can’t thank you enough for today’s email. It led me to 3 of your past but new to me recipes that have just gone onto my MAKE IT RIGHT NOW!! list, mushroom marsala pasta bake, three-bean chili made in any damn thing in the kitchen (I think that’s the recipe title, right?) and lazy pizza dough. Plus that dog bouncing through tall grass.

    It’s freezing here in Tampa (below 80!) and I’m in the mood for a chili change-up, my dude wants some new pasta things because pasta and I’d finally given up on pizza dough, except for Kenji’s pan pizza, which this is like but not and also yours makes me the boss of the rising time. So thank you, really, thank you. Just thank you.

  51. Jeanne CS

    I made this for dinners this week. I used too much cauliflower and ended up with two casserole dishes, which is not making me sad! I also used jalepeño jack cheese, as that was what was available, and it’s quite tasty, not too hot.

    But the real reason for this comment is to say thank you: you’ve taught me how to cook for my vegetarian husband and myself at the same time, and have been teaching me this for years. But the newsletter list of 12 veg dinners from today still had new ideas there! What a treasure trove of recipes… thank you for making that happen, both in terms of the website and the newsletter!!

  52. Sarah

    Couldn’t find farro at my tiny grocery store so substituted a cup of Tj’s 10 minute barley. There was no fontina at said grocery store either so substituted grated provolone. Roasted the cauliflower, delicious. Used Parmesan instead of pecorino. I don’t love capers but added them to be faithful to the recipe on the first try (not counting forced substitutions) and have no regrets. Can’t stop eating this casserole. What a great, flexible recipe!

  53. Darcie

    Delicious! I made this for dinner last night and everyone loved it! Capers + lemon is a very nice and unexpected combination in a cheesy dish. We’ll be making this again, and very soon!

  54. Stephannie

    The cauliflower and farro casserole was absolutely delicious! It took a bit of work to make it, but it was well worth the time. I roasted the cauliflower, which I hadn’t done before and from now on, that’s my go-to method. Thank you for your wonderful recipes!

  55. Heather E.

    Just finished dinner and wanted to report immediately that this is SO GOOD!! I roasted the cauliflower and used mozzarella in place of fontina (I had some to use up) and I used parmesan in the topping. I made in advance and assembled in a 9.5″ deep dish glass pie plate, then covered and refrigerated for a few hours. I added the topping right before baking. It is crunchy and delicious and I ate too much and want to eat more before I put it away!

  56. the Viking Diva

    I could not find farro at my local shop and had not researched alternatives in advance, so I made it with bulgur. I liked the flavor profile but it was too dry. I think next time I might thin the ricotta and toss it with the cauliflower-grain mix to get a little more gooey-ness throughout the casserole. I might also be tempted to try cooking the garlic with the grain just to cut the raw garlic taste a bit. (Saute’ing seems fiddly when the cauliflower roasts so nicely) It baked just fine in a deep ceramic casserole dish.
    Verdict: tasty winter eating that is worth a bit more experimentation.

  57. This is a genius recipe. So much flavor! I used mild Gouda, Parmesan, and Deb’s homemade ricotta recipe for the cheeses. I did the roasting method for the cauliflower. Everything worked exactly like the recipe said it would! Can’t believe there is so much deliciousness there from such bland base ingredients (cauliflower and farro). And those creamy ricotta pockets OMG! More farro casserole recipes, please!

  58. Katie C.

    I made this tonight. My guy and I really liked it but it was a bit of work. We ate it with some rosemary lemon marinated pork tenderloin. I would definitely make this again but would reserve it for a night that I have plenty of time. My guy thinks it’s a “company” side dish.

  59. Jamie

    I know that it would probably be fruitless to try to make this recipe dairy-free. But are there any dairy-free casserole-type recipes that you would recommend for cold winter nights?

    1. RO

      Someone up above commented that s/he gave this a vegan spin with very interesting sounding substitutes…melty vegan cheese and homemade cashew based sour cream

    2. Raye

      I also made a vegan version of this. I used vegan ricotta (found at Whole Foods) and a “parmesan” made from ground cashews and nutritional yeast. Delicious!

  60. jessicamarybk

    This is one of the best recipes I’ve made in a long time! SO good and perfect for this crappy, wet, not-quiet winter weather we’ve been having in NYC. I want to cuddle up with this recipe and a blanket. And the kid even ate it too! WHAT!

  61. dopioplease

    So delish! I didn’t have capers on hand, so I used sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. So good. Next time I’ll try the capers.

  62. Meghan O.

    Yum! This was so good! I hate to be one of those people who alter a bunch of stuff and then review, but just wanted to comment because as someone mentioned before, this is a forgiving recipe. The most important thing is cheese combined with cauliflower, right? Just wanted to note that I replaced farro with wheat berries, and fontina with manchego, pecorino with Parmesan and ricotta with yogurt, mostly because I didn’t want to go to the grocery store. It was still great and I think the other cheeses/farro would still have a similar flavour. Unfortuantely my young kids were not feeling adventurous so I ate theirs as well. 😉

  63. Well, this did not work for me at all, and was nearly inedible. I think my capers were too briny, and I used fresh ricotta from my supermarket which didnt’ melt, if it was supposed to melt. But the main problem is that there is nothing to bring these ingredients together. The cheese didn’t do it. And the garlic was totally raw after 20 min in the oven. The flavors are all things I love, but together it tasted almost medicinal. I roasted my cauliflower first and the texture on that was nice.

  64. Mary

    Made this last night and I can’t stop thinking about it. One of the tastiest dishes I’ve eaten in a long time. Fabulous. I followed the recipe pretty close to exactly and wouldn’t change a thing. A new family favorite. Only note I’d make is that I think one would be hard pressed to get 6 servings out of this – even as only a side. I think 4 is more realistic (maybe because it is too tasty to have a smallish serving).

  65. I thought this was good but needed a good squeeze of lemon once served, and a little dijon in with the capers. Or might be more flavorful with a gruyere or cheddar. Capers need more than the zest to balance the flavors, and so the squeeze after its cooked helped give it more flavor. There’s a famous dish called California Cauliflower from the 70s, involving a whole head of Cauliflower steamed and then roasted with dijon, mayo, and then a thick layer of cheddar cheese all over it. It’s kind of hard not to want that while eating this.

  66. Margaret

    I made this tonight and it is delicious!! I only had half the ricotta (seriouseats recipe did not execute properly), so I look forward to trying again soon. I used extra cauliflower and have no regrets there. I might try adding some beans or use quinoa for protein, and maybe tossing in some roasted red pepper for color and more tastiness. I might also skip the grain and use it as a side veggie. Thank you, these flavors are great!

  67. Jeannie

    Just finished scoffing my second helping of this. Amazing. I roasted the cauliflower and didn’t have sage so used a bit of thyme. So so so good. Thanks for the recipe, this is going in the recipe vault!

  68. came together super quick, which was fabulous, and is super delicious. this is going into the rotation! subbed quinoa for farro because i try to use what i have, subbed small curd cottage cheese for ricotta because i don’t like ricotta, and added chopped leeks during the second half of the recipe because i had it on hand. will possibly add turmeric and paprika in future variations, and more capers. possibly the white bean suggestions from other users, and maybe mushrooms, too!

  69. CBx

    Made this for dinner last night and it was so good. Lots of flavor and great textures, definitely not a soggy or insipid bake. I did omit the capers, not being a fan, and it was still great.

  70. Janet

    Roasted the cauliflower and cooked the farro yesterday. Today I followed the recipe exactly and we both really liked it. I used the 1/2 cup ricotta and the picture in the recipe sure looks like more than that!

  71. Kathryn A

    We really enjoyed this! Had to make some substitutions due to crap grocery stores here: Gouda instead of fontina, pearl barley instead of farro and Parmesan instead of pecorino. Cut capers to 1 tablespoon as I’m still learning to love them :)

    Very hearty and filling – love having a new, interesting way to cook cauliflower.

    Thanks, Deb!

  72. Kathleen

    Love farro. This was delicious. I don’t have access to good ricotta and fontina. I substituted mascarpone for ricotta and gruyere for the fontina.

  73. I made this tonight using what I had on hand — 1/4 head of cauliflower than I used a bag of TJ’s cauliflower rice to supplement. I didn’t have fontina so used shredded mozz. Also didn’t have capers, so skipped that. Otherwise, I followed the recipe to a T and it was so delicious! Hearty enough for a full meal .. but I could also see it as a side at a dinner party (thinking salmon or baked chicken thighs would be a good main with this). Thanks, Deb!

  74. Another great SK recipe–destined to be a winter staple. I made a few small modifications: didn’t find decent (non-withered) sage, so substituted parsley in the cauli-farro mixture, and added another 1/2 tsp of lemon zest in the panko topping because I love the extra boost it gives to any cruciferous vegetable. This was great on a colder NYC night; stick-to-your-ribs without being too heavy.

    Deb, I have some anchovies in the fridge I’m looking to incorporate into other recipes. What do you say about substituting the capers here for a similar salty note?

  75. Rachael

    Made this tonight, really enjoyed it. Even my picky 1 year old gobbled it up (fist pump!). I left out the capers and ricotta (didn’t have), and subbed cream cheese for the fontina. Otherwise followed the recipe, roasting the cauliflower was nice and hands off. Served with sautéed chicken with a lemon herb/white wine/Dijon sauce to keep it light. My 8 year old said, and I quote, ‘Mom, I never knew what a good cook you were!’. Success ;) thanks Deb!

  76. jh

    Had more or less the ingredients in our pantry/fridge, with the exception of fontina (I substituted gruyere), lemon zest (I used lemon juice instead), and sage (which I omitted completely), and it was delicious. Huge fan of the toothiness (sp?) of the farro, but I’m wondering if there might be a suitable substitute in case I don’t have any on hand in the future (maybe brown rice or steal cut oats..?)

  77. Stephanie

    My boyfriend and I made this together this weekend — delicious!! However, with each bite, I kept hoping to taste some onions and perhaps something with a bit of crunch, like toasted pecan pieces in the topping.
    I’d love to hear thoughts on how to best incorporate onions in this dish!!

    1. Nicole

      Perhaps finely mince a shallot (I like to use a grater to get super duper fine pieces of the shallot or onion so that they kind of “melt” into the dish) as it is a little milder than your usual onion, sauté for a couple of minutes, then mix into the cauliflower/faro mixture before baking.

  78. svdoshi

    This was a slam dunk. (See changes below) I also roasted the cauliflower in a cast iron, while making the orzo on the stove, and mixed them both with the cheese, garlic, red pepper flakes in the same cast iron i used to roast the cauliflower and stuck it in the fridge the night before. All I did the following night was make the bread crump crust while the oven preheated. Two of my friends said it was the best dish I’ve made (the bar is low I guess :))

    Here are the changes I made since I wanted to use ingredients I already had on hand.

    – orzo instead of farro
    – more lemon zest
    – more garlic
    – more red pepper flakes
    – 1 cup of sharp cheddar instead of 2 cups of fontina
    – goat cheese instead of ricotta
    – basil instead of sage
    – no capers

  79. erineaguayo

    Delicious! Reheats well! I used an extra quarter cup of farro, a slightly larger cauliflower, and the whole tub of ricotta, knowing it would otherwise go to waste. Also, fontina is incredibly expensive around here, so I subbed in Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar (plentiful and cheap in Vermont) to keep the cost of this dish under the price of dining out. I used the roasting pan method and baked it in a sizable glass pyrex dish to avoid having to scrub my cast iron. A great addition to the cauliflower repertoire!

  80. Amy

    Made this as written with the exception of using wheat berries in place of farro. Super luxurious and delicious. I served it as a side to meat eaters and with salad to the vegetarians. I loved the chewiness of the wheat berries with the soft cauliflower and the punch of the capers. It’s been pinned and I’ll make it again.

  81. Just the recipe inspiration I’ve been looking for this evening! Something REALLY different. Have my sister and veggie brother in low down coming down next month and this looks perfect. Am going to give it a trial run this weekend.

  82. giiirrrllllll! Go you! I was hoping this was happening someday. You are so charming and have the best sense of humor. I love the short and sweetness of it and hearing your voice and tips. Good luck! Excited to see more and congrats!

  83. Wanda Batman

    I made this and while it was good it wasn’t great. Seems dry to me. We love cauliflower and the farro tasted like a cousin of barley. It seemed to need some kind of “sauce ” to bind it
    Love your blog

    Also made your green bean salad with fennel and toasted almonds and it was SUPERB. I have never used fennel before but this is tasty and addictive. My teenage sons could have eaten a whole batch each if I’d made it!

  84. Jennifer Y

    I am currently eating frozen/reheated leftovers, and wanted to let you know how amazing this dish still is! For me it’s the cheese/lemon combination that makes this into comfort-food heaven! Thank you so much for this inspired recipe!

  85. Diane

    I made this tonight and it was great. I like how forgiving it is. I swapped out the fontina for an easily available melting cheese and skipped the capers. I saw the comments about the garlic so I grated it and sautéed it with the olive oil that went into the bread crumbs. I also threw a little smoked paprika into the filling. The meat loving, farro averse BF gobbled it up.

  86. Wendy L

    I made this last night and it was amazing! We have celiac, so I made a gluten-free version using sorghum for the grain. We all loved it–especially my husband (he surprised me, as I had warned him in advance that I made this ony because it sounded good to me and that it probably wouldn’t be his “thing.”) He raved and raved and asked only somewhat jokingly if we could have it again tomorrow. This will be a regular dish at my house!

  87. I made this tonight and it was amazing! I love so many of the components of this recipe (cauliflower, sage, lemon, capers, ricotta … ok, cheese in general…) and it sounded like this would be a delicious comfort-food combination of them all – which it was. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  88. JessinNC

    Made this two nights ago and it has gotten better each night we eat it. Definitely it’s good right out of the oven with a crunchy top, but giving it a day to let the flavors meld – awesome!

  89. Liz B.

    Made this tonight for dinner, with a side of brussels sprouts sauteed with pancetta. The cauliflower was soooo good! I used goat cheese instead of ricotta since it’s what I had, and grana padano with the panko breadcrumbs. Goat cheese in this is so good – little pockets of tangy-ness! Other than that, I followed the recipe, roasting the cauliflower for a more hands-off approach. We went back for seconds and still had enough for two big portions of leftovers.

  90. Grace

    This was fab. I did half broccoli, half cauliflower, omitted the capers, and added an extra 1/2 tsp of lemon zest to the breadcrumb topping, just to boost the flavor. This is very much a recipe that deserves a proper caramelizing of the cauliflower. I *do* think you could feasibly cut back on the cheese (either omit the ricotta, or halve the fontina), particularly if you’d like something less hearty. But definitely a keeper.

  91. mks

    Made this for dinner tonight. Didn’t change a thing. It was unanimously voted into our family dinner rotation. Made your kidney bean curry earlier in the week and got the same reaction! Your recipes never fail me! Thank you!

  92. Joey

    Have been thinking about subbing farro for pasta and just never got around to it until this recipe was posted. Made it immediately and it was soooo good! Ate it every day for a week until it was gone. Then made my favorite Italian sausage and butternut squash pasta recipe and substituted the rest of the bag of farro in place of the pasta and it was great, too! Next up: puttanesca with farro? Possibilities are endless. Thanks!

  93. Lauren

    Hubby made this tonight. So, so yummy. He used a little more ricotta than the recipe called for. It had great texture from the farro, comforting from the cheeses and bread crumbs and interesting flavors with the capers and lemon zest. Home run, will enter the weeknight rotation.

  94. I made this last night, and it was fantastic. We love cauliflower, and cheese, so this was a natural win. First time using farro and it’s awesome too! I upped the garlic, skipped the capers, and used a mix of ricotta and goat cheese. 10/10 will make again! Thanks for another winner, Deb :)

  95. April

    This was delicious! Roasted the cauliflower at the same time the farro was cooking and prepped the rest of the ingredients while those two cooked. I felt like it came together very quickly, all things considered, and it was wonderful! Might cut back a bit on the fontina next time, as it was a super rich dish. Still, I’m thrilled to find a great way to eat cauliflower, not one of our usual favorite veggies.

  96. Sydney

    Delicious recipe!!

    I made a slightly modified version of this that was excellent! I made a double recipe using 2 cups pearl barley instead of farro, since it has a lighter flavor, with 2 heads of cauliflower. I wanted a bit less cheese, so I grated 1/2 c parmesan and mixed with lemon zest, sage, red pepper flakes, salt, basil, oregano, and pepper, and sprinkled that throughout the roasted cauliflower rather than the full 2 c fontina. Then I mixed cooked barley w/ 1/2 c ricotta and a liberal amount of spices, and then spread on top of the cauliflower. Ricotta pockets were an EXCELLENT idea, delicious! As well as the parsley panko crust.

  97. Sheryl

    I went a little rogue and made this with all vegan cheeses: ricotta, cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan. It was out of this world!!! Amazing flavors!

  98. Sarah

    I made this to rave reviews for friends. I subbed Monterrey jack for fontina which I have trouble finding. I’m also imagining some other subs like goat cheese or herbed cream cheese for the ricotta. I also think brown rice could work in lieu of farro. The recipe is great as written, but sometimes it’s nice to play around what you already have on hand. This dish is highly adaptable!

  99. Beth

    Whoa this is delicious! It’s more interesting (and lighter) alternative to mac and cheese. I used the entire package of Whole Foods’s farro (1.5 cups instead of 1 cup) and roasted the cauliflower ahead of time. Go for whole fat ricotta and younger fontina cheese. I’m definitely adding this to my regular dinner rotation.

  100. GL

    This was somehow more delicious than the sum of its parts. I substituted thyme for sage because I personally don’t like sage. I used whole milk ricotta from Trader Joes and added a little chicken sausage for heft (I think mushrooms would have been good too). The only change I might make is to cook the garlic a little because it ended up a little raw in the dish. Leftovers were yummy too.

  101. Zuzana

    I must admit I was sadly disappointed by the outcome of my effort. Just like a few other reviewers complained, my dish came out very dry. The only modification to the orginal recipe I made was substituting buckwheat for farro which doesn’t seem to exist around here. I’m wondering what the problem might be? Perhaps there are more cauliflower varieties? Mine simply didn’t release any juices, so there was nothing to bond the ingredients together, which resulted in a very “healthly tasting” dish. Not in a good way though.
    Having said that I love your blog and all the other recipes I tried so far were great!

  102. Karen

    This is a great recipe, everything Deb promised it would be. I loved the chewyness of the farro with the meltiness of the cheese, and everyone agreed that the pockets of ricotta and the panko topping were their favorite parts. Thanks for another hearty vegetarian meal!

  103. Just made this more or less as written (without carefully measuring out most elements) and it is DELICIOUS! I skimped a little on the cheese (not a sentence I often find myself typing) and added a can of tomato sauce, which I highly recommend. I’m excited that I have enough of everything to make another round, as I don’t anticipate getting tired of this any time soon. The textures and flavors are just awesome, and it feels like a perfect balance of health and flavor.

  104. Jen

    Made this yesterday, and it was awesome! I roasted the cauliflower, used brown rice instead of farro, and used Calabro part skim ricotta. I also left off the topping (except for the parsley, which I will mix in the next time). I think I will be making this a lot. Thanks a bunch!

  105. I made this dish a second time tonight. It was even better than what I remembered! I doubled the capers and used 1 1/4 cup farro this time, since I love both. I also substituted half the ricotta with mascarpone, which melted nicely into the cauliflower/farro mixture. I still love finding the pockets of ricotta! What a great weeknight meal! Will definitely be making this yet again.

  106. ConnieC

    This is SOOOOO delicious! It is hard to stop eating it. The garlic, red pepper flakes and lemon zest flavors kept peeking out and treating my taste buds, and I kept digging around searching for the pockets of ricotta. I roasted the cauliflower in the oven…perfect, and the farro gives the whole thing a nice chew. Thanks for the great recipe! I So enjoy your site!

  107. Sandra

    This recipe seems to be calling me – I click on it every time I visit the website.
    Think I need make it already! What would happen if I use kamut instead of farrow?!

    1. I bet it would be equally as delicious! I’ve thought about using quinoa instead but I’d end up eating it all (oh, darn!) cuz my family hates quinoa with a burning passion.

  108. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I make this at *least* twice a week. My family loves it, even the picky teen. And leftovers are looked upon with envy at work. I’ve used farmer’s cheese in place of ricotta, and Dubliner in place of fontina, added bacon or smoked sausage, chopped up a bag of baby spinach and tossed it in… it’s delicious in both original and amended forms!

  109. Em

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I used whole milk ricotta, and based on other commenters ditched the capers, replaced sage with rosemary (my preference), and added white beans. One 290g packet of parcooked farro from Trader Joe’s was perfect for the recipe. The fontina is melty and stretchy, the ricotta was wonderful rich pockets, the farro was nicely chewy. It was like eating an indulgent mac & cheese but much less heavy with the cauliflower base and no cream.

  110. Juliet

    I’ve made this SO many times and it’s amazing! The only change I’ve done is to add some seasoning to the ricotta, namely salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

  111. Gail

    This (sort of, loosely) reminds me of a riff I do on another of Ina’s cauliflower recipes that I ADORE AND MAKE EVERYONE I LOVE TRY. Roast cauli with s/p and olive oil til crispy. Toast breadcrumbs in a pan with more oil and lots of garlic. Melt anchovies with chicken broth, golden raisins and capers. Toss everything together and eat more than you should. :)

  112. loveyournoms

    Made this for dinner last night- so good! I did goof and buy not quite enough cauliflower, but it was still great. I roasted the cauliflower in my CI until quite dark, used pearled farro (would like to find semi- for nutrition reasons), and omitted the capers, parsley & sage since I was out. I just tossed everything together in the CI I used for the cauliflower, topped with the panko mixture, and broiled until nice and crunchy. This was great! I am not a ricotta fan, so unless I have that on hand next time, I will probably skip it, but overall, I’m very happy to have found a warm, reasonably healthy dish to add to our dinner rotation!

  113. Susan

    I made this tonight and loved it. However I live in the UK and struggled to find Fontina cheese. Can you recommend a good alternative.

  114. Joan

    I just made the crispy fried egg, had it over roasted veg. and farro. So delicious it will be the way I make my eggs from now.
    Thank you. Joan

  115. Susan

    Made this last night using the roasting method for the cauliflower and it was a HUGE hit. TIP: use the juice from your naked zested lemon to enjoy a single serving of Vermontucky Lemonade during the 20 minutes of baking time.

  116. Darsey Landoe

    Phew! Made this as specified, and it was great in theory. Cheese, farro and cauliflower were perfect. Unfortunately, the sage was all I tasted. Wouldn’t make it again with nearly that much, or might just sub it out for a couple teaspoons of thyme or rosemary.

  117. Liz E

    I’ve made so many of your recipes, and honestly, they are all delicious, but this one…I just wasn’t expecting cauliflower and farro to be so delicious. Plus it’s easy, just takes a little time. Thank you!

  118. Rony

    Made it and loved it!!!! Will definitely become a regular.
    I used home-made cashew cream instead of the ricotta. Do you have any idea what I could use instead of the fontina to make it vegan?

    This time I did use it cause I’m not vegan, just expirementing :)
    Thank you!

  119. Debora Gray

    This is absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth!
    I made the recipe as written & the only thing I wish I’d done, was to measure the amount of red pepper flakes I used, because it turned out perfectly!

  120. EastWestGemini

    Herbs en provence variation

    I didn’t have farro or fontina cheese or sage or capers so I had to improvise. I read many of the comments looking for replacements that had worked. I liked many of the suggestions. The result was a dish that became much more French. The gruyere, emmentaler, mushrooms sauteed in shallots and caramelized onions changed the flavor profile significantly away from the suggested seasonings of red pepper, lemon zest, capers, sage. I adopted herbs en provence. I kept the panko, parsley, parmesan crust.

    Instead of farro, I used a brown and wild rice mix. I would suggest using plain brown rice instead, I found the wild rice texture unwelcome. I would suggest 300 grams of brown rice.

    I roasted the cauliflower in the oven which made it delicious.

    I added mushrooms sauteed in butter with shallots, salt, pepper and herbs en provence. I used 2 medium portobello mushrooms and six small brown mushrooms. It added a richness to the dish, not unwelcome but if you’re trying to keep the dish light, skip the saute. I added them to the rice mixture to which I also added emmentaler cheese instead of fontina and the roasted cauliflower. I placed half of the mixture in the pan. I kept the amounts the same.

    Instead of ricotta cheese, I had a yellow onion on hand, I sliced it on the mandolin and then caramelized them, then added it with a bit of grated gruyere cheese. Then covered the dish with the remaining mixture and topped with the panko mix. Baked as per directions.

    Delicious with a pinot noir. Bon Appetit!

  121. Kristen

    I stirred in about 1 and 1/2 cups cooked lentils to the farro as I assembled the casserole. It was delicious with an added punch of protein.

  122. Danielle

    Yummy! Made this last night.. sort of. I forgot to buy ricotta, and used barley instead of farro (they’re VERY similar). I also added a little shredded zucchini. It turned out very very good, although I have to admit I ate literally half of this and then immediately regretted eating like 900 calories of this…

  123. Sheila

    Made this with broccoli because that’s all my toddler will eat (sigh). Used the oven roasting method. Easy, pretty and yummy!

  124. Grace V

    This is an excellent and, it turns out, very forgiving recipe. I’ve made this several ways now: I’ve added lemon zest to the bread crumb topping, mixed in broccoli, omitted capers and sage, done any number of things with the ricotta and it’s still held up.

    This time, however, I found myself in possession of a purple cauliflower on the verge of going bad, some farro, and absolutely none of the other main ingredients. So I subbed in 110 g mild parmesan for the fontina, skipped the ricotta entirely, along with the capers and sage, and used zest of meyer lemon (a subtle, sweeter complement), being entirely out of regular lemon. The result was delicious, and looked curiously like blueberry crumble.

  125. Vicky

    I made this tonight following the recipe with no changes. I loved it but the husband found it too salty (capers, pecorino romano, and added salt). Was thinking a small handful of golden raisins could help to balance a bit?

    1. Carol

      Did you try this, Vicky? I made for dinner tonight, and while delicious, I too thought the addition of a handful of raisins could be great.

  126. Kathe

    Made this bad boy without parsley, subbing parmesan for pecorino. it was great but took more like 30 min to brown. next time i will try black olives in it!

  127. I made this with the roasted cauliflower, as written except that I reduced the amount of fontina cheese to about 3/4 cup to make it less rich. It came out great and was quite fast to make. I’m sure I will be making it often.

  128. This looks so amazing! I found it when looking for macaroni and cheese, but I will certainly make this when my health-conscious son comes home from college. But speaking of mac and cheese, Deb, I found this recipe (below) on the NYT site, and it looks great because you don’t cook the macaroni first. I haven’t made it yet, but I wondered if mac and cheese wasn’t coming up in your queue again? Looks like it’s been awhile. I’d love your take on this. . .

  129. Nicole

    We enjoyed this last night. Not sure if I would regularly make this as a weeknight meal bc there is a bit of prep, but it is much easier if you have a leftover grain (I had some brown rice in the freezer to use up). Also added white beans, which was a great protein option, and would recommend that to others looking to make this a vegetarian meal (+ salad). Omitted the sage and reduced the capers per commenters. Would make it again for sure with any grain I had leftover

  130. glasshalffull

    I made this as the pasta version recently, and then last night following this recipe to a T. The farro was so much better! It was delicious! Chewy, salty, garlicky, lemony and cheesey. I am already looking forward to eating the leftovers for the next few days!

  131. Erin

    I’ve made this before but never commented and I’m resolving to actually TELL YOU when I make and adore your recipes, so you’ll keep sharing them! Just made again tonight and it was even better than I remembered… so creamy with the ricotta and yet tangy and sharp and nutty… we loved it. Thanks, Deb!

  132. Matthias

    So I am literally eating this for dinner right now. Holy *@#K, this is amazing. Like, good enough that I took a break from eating to post a quick thanks. This is stupidly good. Thanks Deb!!

  133. Okay, so I’ve been making this recipe on and off for about a year. My family likes it, but it was always just a bit off or unfinished to my tastes. Today I was less brain-dead than usual when cooking after work, and it occurred to me that throwing the garlic in raw was a very bad idea and was what had been bothering me. (I find now, coming back to the comments, that others have had the same issue.) After the last batch of cauliflower, I sautéed the garlic and the sage very briefly, then added them to the mixture. It mellowed the garlic out and the dish worked a lot better.

    Another thing to note — fontina cheese is not easy to find in our local big-city grocery stores, and if I’m making a casserole for dinner I’m usually not likely to drive well out of my way to the cheesemonger to track it down. I used gruyère tonight, and it doesn’t melt as well — turns out stringy — but the taste is good.

  134. Juliane

    Very delicious and satisfying. Love the flavor profile and the textures. It’s on the drier side, which I enjoyed. You could omit the ricotta blobs if that’s not your thing. Only change I made was to add browned veg Italian sausage, which was good and suited my husband’s need to add sausage to everything. Devoured the leftovers. I feel like the fontina is a great choice here. Going to add this to the rotation, and do a pesto version too.

    1. Juliane

      Just kidding about only change being sausage…just read previous comment about precooking garlic and reminded me that my garlic was oven roasted holiday leftover. Worked well! Will pre-cook a little next time I make (as there will be no leftover roasted garlic, alas!)

      1. Joanna

        I roasted my cauliflower and put a few large cloves of garlic still in the peel with some olive oil on the tray and roasted it all together. The garlic was beautifully soft and mild and super easy.
        I also added some sautéed chicken and artichoke hearts. It was so delicious!

  135. Karen Chickering

    SIX servings???? heh, lucky if I stretch 4 out of this wonderful recipe. frico on the bottom. chewy farro. a crunchy lid of panko and parmesan (on hand). all this with heaps of roasted cauliflower. I’m not a capers fan, so skipped that item. FABULOUS! this just shot to the top of my “repeat often” list. Deb, once again, you are a goddess. many thanks!

  136. Kim

    Hi, I live in a place where I can’t get farro. Any suggestions on a farro sub? This looks delicious and I want to make it!!

  137. Anne Brentan

    Just made this and it was delicious!
    My grocery was out of plain farro the day I wanted to make this, so I ended up using a package of Alessi’s Farro with Porcini Mushroom. The flavors were still wonderful and I will definitely make this again. Thanks, Deb!

  138. Karen Wilger

    I made this with a bulk grain in my pantry that I originally thought might be Farro…I figured out they were wheat berries and doubled the cook time until they started to burst but still had a good chew to them. Other than that, I made this exactly as written and wouldn’t change a thing. This was great and liked by my meat-eating family, who all agreed it is a keeper. The cheeses used are key! They mesh perfectly!

    Made for 20 year old daughter who is a baker, 23 year old son who is meat-eating, lover of hearty foods and a husband fresh off of a 2 week European culinary vacation …discriminating crowd.

  139. Jennifer

    This is really, really good–especially as leftovers after the flavors have a chance to meld. It reminds me of Thanksgiving with the sage flavor (I used dried since I didn’t have fresh). I will be making again when cold weather comes, thanks for the recipe!

    1. deb

      I think it would be just like a baked rice dish (of course, but with farro and cauliflower). A big part the of the texture here comes from cheese. However, there are loads of other flavors that will still be delicious without the cheese.

    1. Debora Gray

      Of course you CAN make this with quinoa, but as much as I love quinoa, I don’t think it would turn out well at all. Part of the appeal of this dish is the textures that work so wonderfully together, & quinoa is just too small to impart that.
      Seems like it would be cauliflower with mush.

  140. Popping in to let you know that, if you’re making this and you roast the cauliflower the night before, and then your scoundrel of a cat manages to eat a bunch of the cauliflower and you have to head to the grocery story to buy more, you can splurge on the colored cauliflower that costs a dollar more a head and create a slightly more colorful casserole that will please you greatly. And if you pre-cook the farro, and then leave the farro behind when you head to your sister’s with the ingredients for the vegetarian main dish, you can substitute quinoa for farro and it will all taste terrific. This is a delightfully flexible recipe!

    1. I didn’t notice that the previous comment was about quinoa until after I posted mine! I cooked the quinoa with 1.25 cups water: 1 cup quinoa and the quinoa was quite fluffy and not mushy. I’m looking forward to making it again with the forgotten farro now that I’m back home–but with fluffy quinoa the dish really was fine.

  141. Kirsten

    This was delicious! I used chopped kalamata olives since we were out of capers, and brown rice instead of farro. It was hard to stop eating and I can’t wait for leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

  142. Jordan Y

    I’ve made this as written and again last night using smoked Gouda in place of the fontina. The fontina was good but the smoked Gouda took it to a whole new level. As comforting and rich and full of flavor as it could be. Love your recipes and this one does not disappoint!

  143. Annie

    I finally made this, and it’s STUNNING. I roasted 2 bags of frozen cauliflower and briefly sautéed the garlic based on other commenters (I won’t bother next time). The capers took the flavor to the next level, but maybe the negative comments were from people that don’t like them. My 2 year old devoured this. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers!

  144. Chantal Berthe

    EXCELLENT dish!!!! Will become a family go to meal! I had endives in the fridge, so I sautéed them in butter and added them to the casserole. Flavourful and satisfying! Love this recipe!

  145. Elizabeth

    Highly adaptable recipe which I stumbled upon in search of a new way to use up half of a large head of cauliflower and a ball of mozzarella. Used up last week’s bunch of scallions, too, and substituted chopped, pickled cherry peppers for red pepper flakes and sage.

  146. Katie

    Everyone in my family loved this. It was rich without being too heavy, bright flavors came through and great textures. Zero leftovers.

  147. Pam

    This was excellent! Made with wheat berries instead of farro because that’s what I had. Also put sauteed capers on the side instead of in the recipe. I served it as a side dish with simple baked tilapia and everyone liked it, even my non-veggie-liking son. He actually ate his whole normal sized serving without complaint. Also a fantastic breakfast today with a crispy fried egg on top.

  148. Lisa

    This was delicious! I was doubting the capers & lemon zest but I think they were what raised it up from good to amazing. Everyone liked it – even the skeptical kid. I’ll definitely make it again. Thank you!

  149. Mary

    This was amazing. We do eat meat but this could be a main course it was so delicious and satisfying. I did not use the ricotta and they did not have Fontina so I use jarlsberg.

  150. Julie

    Love this dish. It has been in regular rotation at our house all winter. My mods are to add shallots to the pan when I roast the cauliflower and in a nod to Ottolenghi’s smoked cauliflower frittata recipe in Plenty, I substitute smoked mozzarella for the Fontina. O.M.G. So good!

  151. Elyse

    After reading all the comments, I went with oven-roasting the cauli, omitting the capers, and adding a can of drained/rinsed Great Northern beans. Also had to substitute hard winter wheat berries because my grocery store didn’t have farro. We loved it! Kids (baby and toddler) loved it too.

    I made the cauliflower/wheat berry mixture the day before and chilled it in a bowl. At dinnertime, all I had to do was assemble it in a baking pan with the ricotta, then mix up the breadcrumbs in the now-empty bowl.

  152. This was really good. My modifications: I used pearled barley instead of farro. I roasted the cauli for 15 mins and skipped the step of sauteeing it (which seemed unnecessary). I mixed in the ricotta along with an egg, which made a kind of cheesy sauce that held it all together. I omitted the sage and parsley. Still had plenty of flavor with the lemon, capers, garlic and red pepper. A good dinner that was a lot healthier than mac and cheese and the kid still ate it.

  153. Sarah

    I made this recipe tonight for me and my 18-month-old. We both liked it, though my kid was a bit dubious of the farro. I didn’t change anything about the recipe and followed the instructions for roasting the cauliflower. So good! The capers add a salty, somewhat sour bite, while the panko is crunchy, the farro is chewy, and the cheese is somewhat creamy. I used about 1 T crushed red pepper, which have it quite a kick. All together, this is really delicious and super easy.

  154. Dana

    Has anyone tried this dish using frozen cauliflower? I have a bag of beautiful colored cauliflower in the freezer and no time to cut up a fresh head this week. I’m afraid the frozen veggies will exude too much liquid, though.

  155. This was SO GREAT. I used parm instead of pecorino as that’s what I had, and added an eggplant I had hanging around. I just ate way too much of it. Reheated under the broiler to add back some crunch. ❤️

  156. Suzanne BeCh

    Hi. Is there anyway this can be made without the cheese. I have lactose intolerance in my family but would still like to make it.

  157. Laura C.

    Hi. I would love to make this soon but before I do I have a question about Farro. It comes as Whole, Semi-Pearled, and Pearled. The cooking time would be different depending on which type you are using. Pearled takes the least amount of time and would also be the least nutritious of the three versions. Please let me know which to use so I can buy the right kind!!! Thank you.

  158. Corrie Zubia

    Could I substitute wild rice for the farro? And do you think the crispy onions from your green bean casserole would be a good on top? Thanks!

  159. Mindy

    This was amazing. The number of recipes on this site that are mind-blowingly good is really quite astounding. I made it exactly as written, used Trader Joe’s quick-cooking farro, and my husband, who I’m not sure has ever willingly eaten cauliflower, raved and took seconds. I think I’m adding this to our Thanksgiving menu.

  160. Megan

    I made this tonight and it was a big hit with the husband! Kids not so much, but at 6 & 8 we are working on trying new things…I did omit the capers based on other reviews. Between the two of us we ate a little over half the dish. So yummy!!

  161. Marcia Morrissey

    Wonderful! My solution to the cauliflower dilemma is one I have long used for an Indian dish we love: sauté the cauliflower in two batches as described in a hot frying pan. When the second batch has browned, add the first batch back into the pan. Quickly add 1/4 cup water to the pan, and cover with a lid for 30 seconds or so. When the water has cooked off, the cauliflower will be perfectly tender.

  162. Melissa Madden

    Delicious! Wanted to point out that if your power goes out (like ours did halfway thru the prep…grrrr), you can put the whole thing in a cast iron and grill it! Same timing, comes out perfectly gooey and crusty. I would almost recommend this method for the really crusty bits. Did not use capers, but added crumbled sweet italian sausage, browned before adding to mixture.

  163. Michelle

    Followed the recipe except didn’t have parsley. Fabulous! My husband and I finished this off in three meals. It does take some time to prepare but definitely worth it.

  164. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. Mixed it up with some eggs and broccoli the next day as fritters for the toddlers – they loved it dipped in some marinara sauce. Thanks for never disappointing!!

  165. Carey

    Oh yum! Deb you do not disappoint! I recently tried farro for the first time and it’s my new favorite grain. I bought the wrong amount of fontina so I only used a quarter of what the recipe calls for but it was still delicious and those Ricotta bombs were, well, the bomb. I normally love capers but agree with some of the others they (along with the sage) weren’t quite right in this. I’ll do it again with a different mix of herbs and no capers – just improving on an already delicious recipe.

  166. CB

    This may be my favorite SK recipe (and I love so many). I’ve made it exactly as written, which gives the most excellent result. However, it’s very forgiving/adaptable; I’ve substituted different cheeses for the fontina (gruyere, emmental, comte), and all were delicious. Tonight, I completely forgot to buy ricotta and while I did miss it, I’ll still eat the leftovers every day for lunch. On that note, this reheats wonderfully from fridge or freezer and is such an easy packable lunch.

  167. Neel

    This was really exceptional. Not difficult to make, and was a crowd pleaser. I’m going to add it to my rotation. I was initially afraid of the capers, but everything came together nicely!

  168. Alee

    My husband, toddler, and me all LOVED this recipe. We didn’t have Fontina, so used a blend of shredded swiss & gruyere, which worked just fine! Seriously, this is a KEEPER and I’m looking forward to the next time we make it already!

  169. JD

    I feel like one of those people who gives a recipe a terrible review then explains that they subbed out everything…except we subbed out everything and this turned out great! A friend previously made the original recipe and we loved it, but after deciding to make it ourselves, we didn’t feel like making a grocery run on a cold day.

    To avoid the store, we subbed mozzarella for the fontina, brie for the ricotta, dried oregano for the sage, and a splash of balsamic vinegar for the lemon zest. We added chopped onions midway through roasting the cauliflower to add some flavor and crunch. Ended up baking about 30 minutes once assembled and broiling 2 minutes at the end to add some color/crunch. It was delicious! Love that there is built-in clean up time after the casserole is in the oven!

  170. Emmie Hine

    So delicious! I roasted the cauliflower and couldn’t be happier. Only way I deviated was throwing some wilted mature spinach in the mix.

  171. Jennifer B

    So, so delicious–I have made this several times and it’s something I crave regularly. No variations, it is definitely comfort food! Thank you.

  172. Danielle

    This was okay. Not the best thing I’ve ever eaten, despite the richness. I kind of wouldn’t make this again, but if I did, I think I would not add lemon zest. Also definitely doesn’t need capers. And maybe I would add spinach or kale or something? The flavors don’t feel balanced to me.

  173. Tina


    I worried that it would come out too rich with all the cheese, but it’s very well balanced and doesn’t feel decadent. I didn’t have farro so used orzo like another commenter mentioned – it was great, they came out crispy on the outside in a pleasant way.

    Would make again.

  174. Made this as I was looking for a casserole to save my sanity during these days of COVID-we-must-cook-a-lot-times. Made a double recipe with wheat berries instead of farro (what I had on-hand) no capers and added cannonelli beans. Turned out QUITE dry. The flavor packed a punch and oddly the more we ate it the less we minded the dry consistency. Willing to try try again but will quiche-ify it or add a Bechamel. :) Deb, more casseroles pls to save our quarantined souls!

  175. Frank Percesepe

    I loved this recipe, but hated the flavors. 2 tablespoons of capers????? 2 tablespoons of capers????? I’m Italian. I love bothe ingredients, but we were taught to use them sparingly. They overpowered the end result.

    Loved the actual recipe, especially the textures of the toasted grains and melted cheese. I will make it again using basil and oven dried cherry tomatoes and skip the sage and reduce the capers by more than half….. or replace them with a bit of peperoncino.

  176. Erinhg

    I’ve made this a few times for Thanksgiving and other celebratory meals. It’s delicious and the guests agree, too! It does take a long time to prep/make, so it’s not a regular-rotation dish, unfortunately, but the leftovers are always delicious as well.
    I think I regularly leave out the capers but follow the rest of the recipe as written. I probably roast the cauliflower longer than written because more color/char is better, in my opinion.

    Wonderful recipe, thanks Deb!

  177. Elizabeth Schmellick

    After making this – one comment is that it seemed rather dry, especially the cauliflower. I loved the texture and flavor but my husband who loves cauliflower cheese didn’t care for it. I wondered if a little amount of bechamel sauce might have helped. I noted one person steamed and then browned their cauliflower – that might help.

  178. Kelly

    I think I’ve been making SK recipes for… 10 years? And I’ve never had a flop, until now :(
    My regular fontina I love and always buy was spoiled out of the package (our grocery store isn’t the best) so I cobbled together bits of other cheeses I had in the fridge – gouda, cheddar, parm, a Mexican cheese blend – and honestly that was all ok, I think. The flavor is fine. BUT the top wouldn’t brown, so I left it in an extra 10 minutes and the entire bottom layer BURNED to an solid, inedible sheet of farro – and I’m a person who doesn’t mind a bit of a char. This is next level. (Was it the cheese, settling to the bottom and then scorching? I’m so baffled.) Unfortunately, I also chipped a tooth on it. Thanks, 2020!! 😂 It is also very dry. My ricotta nearly evaporated and left little gritty bits. I almost added a little chicken stock before I put it in the oven, and really wish I had. It didn’t stick, it just… Burned. Ultimately, we scraped the edible off the burned layer, and ate it and it’s fine. But, personally next time I’m skipping this one and making the pasta, cauliflower, and walnut recipe instead.

  179. Heidi S.

    This was phenomenal. I can’t stop talking about.
    Grocery didn’t have Farro so I subbed two packs of pre-cooked seven grain blend.
    I used ricotta di latte, which is a creamier, smoother ricotta.
    I added a handful of baby spinach to the mix for some greens.
    Finally, served with salmon on the side that I threw in the oven for the last 12 minutes of cooking.
    A+ meal – good enough for company!

  180. Ellen

    We made this last night and it was a winner. The only fontina our small grocer had was little snack-size individually wrapped circles. These were a pain to grate, and we had to add some mozzarella to get the amount needed. It was still delicious. Also, my husband goofed and put the lemon rind into the panko. It was still delicious. Enough left over to be a nice side dish with some chicken tonight.

  181. Robin

    So delicious! This will become a regular fall dish for sure. I added some spinach for color, and substituted rosemary for the thyme. I am a complete devotee to Smitten Kitchen, thank you!!

  182. Noelle

    This was so delicious! I’m so looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. My husband asked what it was and I said “farro” – he thought I said “pharaoh” 😂
    Thank you so much for all of your delicious recipes. You’re the first place I look!!!

  183. Jennie

    This was my first time eating farro, which reminded me of wild rice. I found this to be a sort of modern descendant of the Moosewood Cookbook style of cuisine. It was not as wonderful as I had anticipated, and to my palate could have used quite a bit more cheese (and I already used more ricotta than called for). Also, I took my cauliflower farther in the oven than called for but it was still too crispy for me in the long run–I love it much browner and softer in the oven. Overall: hearty and vegetarian and full of flavor, but all of that failed to add up to the killer dinner I’d been anticipating.

  184. Janet in NC

    This is a regular favorite, probably my most cooked SK recipe. I roast the cauliflower in the Dutch oven everything will bake in, while the farro is cooking and have also added chopped ham, or crumbled sausage whatever is on hand, delicious every way.

  185. jjjeanie

    My cauliflower was a bit larger (maybe 3lb?) so I used my 10×15″ pan to roast it in the oven. Then, to avoid dirtying another dish, used the same pan to bake it–so it was very spread out. Still yummy, but maybe not as crisp. Next time (which there *will* be!), I’ll add some shallots to roast with the cauli. And might use any cheese I have, to sub Fontina, which I went out special to buy. But the ricotta *must* be there for maximum goodness, imho.

  186. Suemvi

    Incredibly delicious even though I used what I had so subbed grated Mexican cheese bought for tacos instead of fontina and the end of some cream cheese instead of ricotta. Wonderful depth of flavor and textures. I did have capers and fresh sage and lemon zest and a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes. I can only imagine how good it might taste if I used more flavorful cheeses. Next time.

  187. Susan H

    Hi, Deb. I’m planning to make this dish for an extended family gathering the day after Thanksgiving. Do you think it will suffer without the capers? Should I add additional salt to compensate? What quantity of red pepper flakes should I add for a moderate amount of spice (where the slight kick is evident)? And, last, what do you think about the addition of spinach? If you’re able to reply amidst the pre-Thanksgiving frenzy, I’d appreciate it. Thanks, as always, for being a reliable source of recipes that always make me look highly capable in the kitchen.

  188. A Phillips

    I made this tonight for my family including my super picky vegetarian daughter who doesn’t like vegetables (believe me, I know). It was a hit! Made only three tiny subs- used a cheese mixture of Gruyere and Fontina because my kid loves Gruyere, added in baby kale and sun-dried tomatoes. So GOOD! I fully intend to eat the leftovers for birthday breakfast with a butter-basted soft yolk egg tomorrow. Thanks for a winner, Deb!

  189. Laura Green

    Delish. Love that I’m allowed to use ricotta without egg and bake pasta without bechamel! I used dried rubbed sage and regular (homemade, so coarse) breadcrumbs, and both were fine. Happened to have a purple cauliflower, which kept its color and was striking!

  190. Laura Green

    Meant to add to my last comment that next time, though, I would saute the garlic–maybe throwing in with the last moments of sauteeing the cauliflower–because as it was it went in and came out, after ~minutes in the oven, basically raw and just a little harsh.

  191. Susan

    I made this what I had on hand. Which was brown rice instead of farro, cheddar and mozzarella instead of fontina, no ricotta. No lemon. It was still tasty!

  192. Melissa

    This was so terrific! I served it on individual plates of fresh spinach leaves, warmed up plain white beans and then topped with a generous helping of this delicious crusty baked cauliflower and farro. Simple green salad with apples, pomegranates, vinaigrette on the side. Fantastic.

  193. Sandra

    Bu mistake, I bought Kamut instead of Farro. It took much more time to cook (like 90 minutes…). I also added a can of cannelli beans, dumped an entire 300gr pot of ricotta and my mistakes turned out to be delicious 😍! Thank you!

  194. Jeanne

    I made this following the recipe and roasting the cauliflower–delicious!! I also made it again just steaming and then mashing the cauliflower, adding the ricotta, etc., and then stirring in farro and other ingredients. Also terrific! One of my new go-to recipes

  195. Vanessa

    I’ve made this many times. It’s one of our favorites, especially with homemade ricotta. We prefer thyme to sage, and sometimes I use a combination of Swiss and Gruyere cheeses rather than Fontina. It’s delicious both ways.

  196. Colleen

    This was absolutely delicious and enjoyed by vegetarians and carnivores (as a side) alike. Leftovers were great reheated, too. I followed the make-ahead instructions and added the Panko topping just before it went in the oven.

  197. Mary Beth

    I made this exactly as written except I substituted fresh oregano for the sage because that’s what I had on hand, and left out capers because I didn’t have any. Other than that, I followed recipe exactly and it was FANTASTIC! I have been following you from the beginning—you never disappoint!

  198. Mia

    Just made this to accompany pesto chicken for supper, but added other veggies (sweet pepper, mushrooms, a bit of leeks) along with cauliflower as the star veg. It was so delicious! My first time using farro & am so glad I’ve found this chewy grain.

  199. Aurora Gandara

    This was awesome. Truly. First the corn butter farro and now this one. My weight gain is going to be called the Deb tax.
    I did not have fontina, but I did have some fresh mozzarella that I cut with an egg slicer. Funny story, last night I made chicken scallopini with angel hair and I chopped the leftovers heated them and served it as a garnish to this dish. It also had lemon and capers.