Friday, August 7, 2015

Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower baked in a creamy, rich gruyere cheese sauce.

I love this time of year when a stroll through our Saturday morning farmer’s market is on our agenda every weekend.  I try to pick up all our veggies and fruits here before heading off to the grocery store.  There is nothing better than the great flavour from locally grown produce.  The last couple of weeks, I’ve been eating tomatoes that actually taste like a tomato and haven’t tired of just a simple toasted tomato sandwich for lunch almost everyday — but on to the cauliflower.

Last week I picked up a giant sized head of cauliflower.  My husband is not a fan of simply steaming or boiling said cauliflower.  I admit, it can be a bit blah this way.  But, if you serve it with a sauce, then he’s all in for that.  As I am always looking for ways to boost the veggie appeal, I wanted a sauce that veered away from the traditional orangey cheese sauce.

I made a white sauce that simmered at a very low temperature with a garlic clove and bay leaf, letting it sit for about 10 minutes for the flavour to infuse.  While that was resting, I cooked the cauliflower until just crisp tender.  It’s best to not overcook at this point, as it will cook further in the oven later and nothing is worse than mushy cauliflower.
After 10 minutes, remove the garlic clove and bay leaf,  add the nutmeg, stir in the cheese until it’s melted and combine with the cooked cauliflower.  Top with bread crumbs and grated Parmesan and bake.

Look at this cheese! Yum!!

We loved the tang of that delicious gruyere cheese and that little bit of crunch from the breadcrumbs!! Don’t think I will ever go back to that orange cheese again.  It was worth every penny of that pricey gruyere!!
If your cauliflower is on the large size, the sauce can easily be doubled if you need more.

Cauliflower Gratin

by notjustgrilledcheese
Keywords: veggies and sides
Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3 tblsp butter
  • 3 tblsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup gruy√©re cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tblsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Cook or steam cauliflower until crisp tender.
In a saucepan, make a roux with butter and flour. Cook on low for about 1 minute to cook out the flour.
Add milk, garlic clove and bay leaf. Bring slowly to a boil over med-low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Let mixture stand on very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to let the garlic and bay infuse into the sauce.
After 10 minutes, remove the garlic and bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste. Add gruyere cheese and stir until melted.
Add cooked cauliflower and gently stir to combine. Turn into a baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until top is slightly browned and dish is bubbly.
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