Delicious casserole dinner

I swear I never thought I would write that. The word "casserole" often makes me cringe, as do "all-you-can-eat buffet," "salve," and "melt" as that one pertains to food. Oh, and "human" when pronounced "you-man." Brr, I just don't like them; they make me shiver with some sort of generalized yuk. As it happens, I'm getting over "casserole," probably because I've made or eaten several quite good ones in the past year. Tonight's dinner was no exception. In fact, I really liked it a lot and will share the recipe with you! I had two medium heads of orange cauliflower from the farmers market, some homemade ricotta, Gruyère, and pancetta that I wanted to use so started musing on an easy dish in which I could combine them all. Aaah, casserole. I blanched the cauliflower in simmering salt water, sauteed some shallots/garlic/pancetta in a bit of butter with sage and sliced apple, soaked some old baguette in milk, tossed all that together with some ricotta and grated Gruyère, and then topped it with butter/sage/nutmeg toasted breadcrumbs. Bake. Serve. Scene. Here, a before and after.