Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes | www.infinebalance.com #recipe #vegetarian

New flash — it is still cold.

and this is how we feel about it

And we are officially running out of mittens. Also – there is a rip in the side of Gav’s boot that lets the snow in. And M’s snow pant straps are broken.

On the bright side – days are getting longer. I see the sun before I leave for work in the morning. And that is glorious. And when the sun is shining you can almost forget that it is still -2.0C. And, also, I ran outside last week.  



My little orchid doesn’t seem to care that there is snow on the outside of the window sill. I don’t know much about orchids but I thought they were finicky and delicate. This one is defiant.

I’m feeling defiant myself lately. I did not go Paleo like everyone else I know. I’m proud of this actually. Not too long ago I would not have hesitated to jump on the latest and greatest diet philosophy. I would have been there, right along with the rest of Pinterest looking for coconut flour recipes and making rice out of cauliflower. Instead I’m still eating avocado toast for breakfast and last night I made pasta for dinner. Gasp! I know. I’m such a rebel.

auliflower Gratin with Tomatoes | www.infinebalance.com #recipe #vegetarian

Regardless, as I was throwing together this – and this feels like a rather 1990s dish to me – it occurred to me that it is almost Paleo. But then I had to stop and wonder if parmesan and walnuts are Paleo. Which lead me to understand things are not very cut and dry in Paleo land. It is all rather complicated. In any event this Cauliflower Gratin is really comforting and rich and low carb. Perhaps Paleo, but not vegan unless you skip the parm – which would work just fine, although adding an equal amount of bread crumbs tossed in some olive oil would add a nice little crunchy to the top to make up for the lack of parm, but then of course, Paleo flies out the window…

Don’t skip the cinnamon. It does something crazy good to the tomatoes and onions.

This dish was inspired by “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison. Which very well may be my very best and  favourite cookbook of all time.

Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes

Cauliflower layered with tomatoes and onion make an healthy vegetable side dish for brunch, holiday meals or Sunday supper. Or serve as vegetarian main course.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4 -6


  • 1 head of cauliflower broken into florets
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 small onion sliced not diced
  • 2 small cloves of garlic pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano or your favorite Italian herb mix
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley


  • Steam cauliflower until tender crisp. About 5 mins in a steaming basket over simmering water, or you could use the microwave.
  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, cinnamon and oregano. Saute until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes or so, until some of the liquid from the tomatoes is evaporated.
  • Dump the onions and tomato mixture into a medium sized casserole dish, layer cauliflower on top, pushing some of the florets into the tomatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and walnuts. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top, if desired, and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Tomatoes will begin to bubble and cheese will melt become lightly toasted. You could even turn on the broiler for a minute or two to get a nice browning on top -- just watch the walnuts. They will burn quickly.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
Trish Cowper