Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower is something I don't cook that often. Most recently I tried pureeing it which was delicious, but not something I want to eat every week. A few years ago, way before I had this blog, I made this recipe for Cauliflower Gratin. I pulled it out of an old file and made it again last night.
  • 1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Added: a pinch or two of dried thyme; 1 tsp dried parsley for some specks of color
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided (Note - the price of cheese has gone through the roof, and I couldn't bring myself to buy Gruyere for $23.99/lb. Instead I used a mix of Jarlsberg and Asiago with the Parmesan)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain. (Note - it is very important to drain the cauliflower very well as it is a vegetable that holds a ton of water. You could even press on it a bit to make sure you get all of the water out).
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened.
  • Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, thyme, parsley, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.
  • Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top.
  • Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

For some reason my picture doesn't look all that creamy or cheesey, but it was! The cream sauce was so sweet and delicious, and I loved the flavor from the thyme and nutmeg.

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  1. Whoa! $23.99 for Gruyere? I've seen around $10 where I live. Cheese is certainly going up.

  2. I love Gruyere cheese - one of my faves... but that price tag sure is steep!

  3. I have been wanting to make this for a long time, but the gruyere has stopped me too.