Cauliflower is the quintessential Thanksgiving vegetable, full of flavor and nutrition. Baked with cheese, butter, garlic, and bread crumbs, this is a gorgeously crisp and golden side dish for Thanksgiving (or whenever).
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Cut the cauliflower into half-inch slices, trimming and discarding the core.
Rub the bottom of a large casserole or gratin dish with 2 tablespoons butter and season with salt and pepper. Layer the cauliflower slices in the bottom of the dish.
Cut the bread into large chunks, then roughly chop until you have coarse crumbs (about 2 cups). Smash the garlic cloves and remove the papery peel. Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the garlic and the breadcrumbs and toast until slightly golden. Season with salt and pepper. Add ½ cup water and the oil to the cauliflower, top with the toasted breadcrumbs, and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until the cauliflower is tender and the breadcrumbs and cheese are golden brown, 30–35 minutes.
Tip: To reheat, sprinkle with fresh Parmesan and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.