Cauliflower Gratin



There’s a few topics about food around here, so I thought to add a lovely autumn recipe. This is a simple yet delicious dish, give it a try and let me know what you think?


— Bechamel —

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Unsalted butter
1/4 cup Unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups milk or half-and-half, scalded
1/4 teaspoon salt (for scalded milk)
1 small bay leaf, broken in two
Salt and fresh ground white pepper
1 pinch nutmeg, freshly ground

— Gratin —

1 tablespoons salt (for pre-cooking cauliflower)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (for pre-cookingcauliflower)
1 head cauliflower (about 11/2 pounds)
2 cups bechamel sauce
1 cup Swiss Gruyere cheese, (about 3 oz) finely grated
Salt and fresh ground white pepper

— Basil Crumb Topping —

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, or addition Gruyere, (about 1 oz) finely grated
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or dried bread crumb
1 tablespoon fresh basil or flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil


OK, starting with the Bechamel: melt butter over medium-low heat in a pan, once butter is melted add flour and mix for about 4 to 5 minutes, then let stand.
Mix the milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan, heat just below boiling point. Return melted butter to medium-low heat and then add half of the hot milk to it, give it a thorough mix until smooth, bring to boil. Once boiled add the remaining milk and bay leaf, simmer and mix now and then for about 10 to 12 minutes, until thickened, end with straining sauce. If preferred season to taste with the usual salt, white pepper and even nutmeg.

To make Gratin: Turn up the oven to 190C . Bring 3 quarts of water to the boil add 1 tablespoons of salt and vinegar. Slice cauliflower into 1 1/2-inch wide florets. Add to the boiling water for about 4 to 5 minutes, when ready season with salt to taste. Butter a baking dish and arrange the florets facing up in a single layer. Grab the Gruyere cheese and stir into the hot bechamel, season to taste with with salt and pepper. Drizzle some olive oil in a bowl and mix in the parmesan, bread crumbs and basil. Spread evenly the bechamel over the cauliflower and sprinkle over the crumb topping.

Cook in oven for about 30 to 35 minutes and enjoy