Cauliflower Gratin

09 Oct

I had gotten this beauty in my CSA box this week.

yes, it really is orange.  It is the cheddar variety and it is absolutely gorgeous.  I decided to make a gratin with it this week.

I made my gratin in layers.  My bechemel sauce was awesome on it’s own, so I layered the flavors and it was awesome and gorgeous to look at as well.  I found this awesome recipe here.

Cauliflower Gratin

  • One head of cauliflower, trimmed and separated into florets
  • Course salt
  • Nutmeg
  • 2/3 C grated cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/3 C milk
  • ground pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons bread crumbs

Serves 4-6.

Sprinkle the cauliflower with coarse salt and steam for 15 minutes, until soft; if you’re using a pressure cooker, it will take 5 minutes starting from the whistle. (The soft cauliflower is part of why I love the dish, but feel free to cook it to your liking.) The cauliflower can be cooked up to a day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Set an oven rack in the upper half of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Transfer the cauliflower in a medium baking dish. Season with a subtle dash of nutmeg, and top with half of the cheese.

Prepare the béchamel. Have the butter, flour, and milk measured and ready. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the flour all at once and stir it into the butter with a wooden spoon (this is called a roux blanc). Cook for 3 minutes without coloring, stirring continually until the mixture turns creamy. Pour in the milk and whisk it into the roux blanc, making sure you don’t leave any clumps on the bottom and sides of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes, stirring with the wooden spoon or the whisk as the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Season the béchamel with salt, pepper, and a whisper of nutmeg. Pour evenly over the cauliflower, top with the remaining cheese, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and slip into the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until heated through and well gratinéed at the top; you can switch to the broiler setting for the 5 final minutes. Let rest for five minutes and serve — you may want to warn your dining companions that the gratin will be very hot.

Any leftovers can be reheated for 10 minutes at 350°F the next day.

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Posted by on October 9, 2008 in Uncategorized


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