Spring is right around the corner and that means Easter is almost here. Easter dinner is one of my favorites to cook. And while we all know that the ham is the star of the show for Easter dinner, I like to focus most of my time thinking about the side dishes that make the meal special and feel complete. I’ve got a super-simple, delicious side dish to share that I absolutely love. It features Hatfield Quality Meats Thick Cut Hardwood Smoked Bacon, which is one of my favorite ingredients to use when I want to add a ton of flavor to my side dishes. I am thrilled to be using bacon from Hatfield®, an American-owned, family company from Pennsylvania. I chose to use their thick cut, hickory smoked bacon in this recipe, but they have a ton of varieties of bacon that all sound amazing.
I wanted to try something a little different from the typical mashed potatoes this Easter, so I am serving Cauliflower and Bacon casserole alongside the ham. I LOVE cauliflower, but admit it can be a little bland on its own. That’s why the bacon plays such a huge role in making this dish amazing. The combination of cauliflower, bacon, and an easy Parmesan cheese sauce is the perfect blend of creamy, savory, and a little smoky that I think pairs perfectly with ham. This recipe is also simple, ensuring that I have plenty of time to hang out with my family on Easter instead of being stuck in the kitchen all day. In fact, to save even more time, you could make this the night before and then just bake it the next day. Even better!
I hope you give this recipe a try…and definitely check out Hatfield®. They have a ton of amazing simple recipes from appetizers to desserts and everything in between that sound delicious (and stress free). You can also check where you can find their products in stores near you. Enjoy!
I would love to hear from you and find out your favorite way to use bacon when feeding a crowd, let me know in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card!
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
- ½ pound Hatfield Thick Cut Bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 leek, trimmed, rinsed, and chopped
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add chopped cauliflower. Boil for 5 minutes, drain, and transfer to a baking dish.
- In a sauce pan, add bacon and cook on med/low until bacon is crisp.
- Add chopped leeks and garlic to bacon and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Remove bacon and leeks from pan and sprinkle over cauliflower. Remove bacon drippings from pan.
- Add butter and flour to pan and cook on medium for 1-2 minutes until bubbly. Slowly stir in milk, whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Cook sauce for 2-3 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove frome heat. Add thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and Parmesan cheese.
- Pour sauce over cauliflower and bacon and stir to make sure the sauce coats all of the cauliflower.
- Sprinkle a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over the top and place in oven.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned on top.
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