These days, cauliflower is the ingredient du jour—showing up in tater tots, pizza crust, rice, and even gnocchi. But when we were dreaming up this recipe, we weren’t sure whether our family had gotten the memo. After all, we have a large family—aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents—and everyone has very personal food preferences.
That never stops us, though: We can usually get them to try new recipes, and most of the time, they end up giving the thumbs up. Luckily, this cauliflower truffle lasagna was no exception. Our family was actually surprised by how much they liked the recipe—especially because there is no meat in it, and our extended family really enjoys meat with their main meals.
Whether you’re a cauliflower fan or not, we urge you to give this recipe a try. We think you’ll appreciate cauliflower cooked this way, and we’re also convinced you will agree that truffle oil has one of the best flavors and aromas in the world. —Emily Allen and Lyla Allen
- 1 medium-large cauliflower head
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallot bulbs, diced (about ¼ cup)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons truffle oil, plus more for serving
- ²⁄3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- One 9-ounce box no-boil lasagna noodles (you won’t need the whole box unless you double the recipe)
- Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
- Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower, and cut the base stem so it is flush with the crown. Then chop the cauliflower florets and stems into ½-inch pieces. (It’s fine if it gets all crumbly; you’ll add the crumbly bits to the pan as well.)
- In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots. Sauté the shallots for 1 to 2 minutes, until they are transparent. Add the cauliflower, salt, and pepper, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- Add the milk and veggie broth, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes longer, or until the cauliflower is just softened. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender. Add the Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and truffle oil, and blend until pureed.
- In a separate bowl, mix the chopped parsley, Cheddar cheese, and mozzarella.
- Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna: Spread approximately ½ cup of the cauliflower puree in the bottom of the pan (enough so the bottom is just covered with the puree). Add a layer of lasagna noodles (we end up breaking some of the noodles to fill in gaps). Add 1 ½ cups cauliflower puree, distributing it evenly and covering all of the edges of the noodles. Add half of the cheese mixture, distributing it evenly. Add a layer of lasagna noodles. Add the rest of the cauliflower puree, making sure all of the noodles are covered (if the noodles aren’t covered with puree, they will get crunchy when baked). Sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture evenly over the top. Cover loosely with foil (be sure to tent it to avoid getting cheese stuck to the foil), and bake for 40 minutes. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. After plating each piece, drizzle it with about ¼ teaspoon of truffle oil.
You’ll find truffle oil in the grocery store, and a little goes a long way. A small bottle will give you plenty to make this lasagna.
If you’d like to use whole nutmeg, which is what we do, you can grind it easily on the small holes on a box grater. Always grind more than you need and store the extra in a baggie or jar.
If you want a little meat, you can sprinkle pancetta or bacon on top of the cooked lasagna.
Reprinted with permission from The Teen Kitchen by Emily Allen and Lyla Allen, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Justin Walker