Monday, January 31, 2011

Cauliflower Gratin

When I left Chicago, I thought that I would miss the Winter or, at the very least, miss snow. Thankfully I can get my fill of gorgeous white snow while skiing in Tahoe without ever having to deal with it turning gray and slushy in the streets. And while it doesn't get cold per se in San Francisco, I will admit that it does get chilly at night. Nevertheless I still refuse to wear anything heavier than a trench coat and scarf in this city, which I realize is a shame because all of my gorgeous winter wool coats are now tucked away in a spare closet! Regardless of which temperature you consider cold, sometimes you just want a hearty winter dish to warm you up when it is chilly out.

Since moving to San Francisco, I find myself constantly eating greens and fresh produce- which is absolutely wonderful- but sometimes I crave heavier dishes to balance out my meals. This gratin dish encompasses the gooey and bubbly goodness of ultimate winter comfort. Before you shun it away as unhealthy, consider that this gratin uses low-carb, high-nutrient packed cauliflower instead of the usual potato. Seriously, this cozy dish is like curling up on the couch with your favorite blanket in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot tea.

Cauliflower Gratin (Ina Garten)
1 head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
4 tbs unsalted butter, divided
3 tbs all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 tsp freshly ground black eppper
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Gruyere, divided
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt, and then cook the cauliflower florets for 5-6 minutes until tender but still firm. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tbs of butter. Add the flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour in the hot milk and stir until it comes to a boil. Once the liquid boils, whisk constantly until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat. Add 1 tsp salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup Gruyere, and the parmesan.

Pour a third of the sauce in an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish.* Add the cauliflower florets and then spread the remaining sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tbs of butter and and drizzle over the gratin. Season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

*Note: I ended up distributing the gratin between two au gratin dishes rather than combining all of the ingredients in a single 8 x 11 baking dish.


  1. what an awesome blog! I can`t wait to see your future posts! :)

    have a great time,


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