September 29, 2015

White cheddar cauliflower gratin

Another reason I love fall is that it is the season of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, turnips, rutabaga, romanesco, and cauliflower. I found a lovely head of light orange cauliflower at the farmers' market this past weekend that I couldn't resist. I love to use it in soups and simply roasted in olive oil, but this head was just calling out to be gratin-ized. I love cauliflower gratin, but it's something we don't have very often as it soft of negates the nutritional value of the vegetable you are covering in cheese sauce, but that's okay to do every now and again, right? Plus it's so darn tasty! 

This is a super fall and winter side dish. It's sure to get even the most pickiest of eaters to accidentally eat a little vegetable! We enjoyed this gratin along with a ham steak and some homemade applesauce. The cauliflower gratin will feel about 4 people as a side. 

White cheddar cauliflower gratin
1 small/medium head of cauliflower (about 2 lbs.), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2.5 cups whole milk 
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 cups grated white cheddar, divided
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

In a large soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium/low heat. Stir in the shallot, garlic, and good pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot turns translucent. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook for one minute. Whisk in the milk and nutmeg.

Let the milk heat and just begin to lightly bubble and then add the cauliflower. Keep the heat low and stir often, cooking until the milk thickens and the cauliflower is fork-tender, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in one and a half cups of the white cheddar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and lightly butter a medium baking dish. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the baking dish. 

Top with the remaining 1/2 cup white cheddar, breadcrumbs, and parsley.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes, just until it is bubbly and golden on the top. Let sit for a few minutes and then serve.

What was I cooking one year ago?: pumpkin pie French toast
Two years ago: spiced pickled sugar pumpkin 
Three?: smoky pumpkin macaroni & cheese 
Four?: green tomato chutney 
5?: chicken w/ apple & shallot sauce


  1. What a lovely dish! This cheddar cauliflower tart looks so YUM!

  2. Nice dish, a vegetable I am trying to enjoy more (then back in childhood lol), cheddar makes it a winner.

  3. I am always a fan of cauliflowers and the add of cheddar makes it even more tempting.

  4. Amy, cooking cauliflower in a gratin always seems to bring out its special flavor and its delicate sweetness - nice recipe and wonderful presentation!

  5. Hi Amy, I love gratins, especially ones like this. Cheddar cheese is my favorite.

  6. I have made something similar, but without the bread crumbs. Now I want to go back and make it with them - looks delicious :)

  7. This sounds delicious and I'm a big fan of cauliflower!

  8. I love rich gratins! And I love cauliflower. This looks so decadent!


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