Cauliflower is not only nutritious and full of nutrients but it is delicious too. I love simple preparations, like roasting and mashing, but every once and awhile it deserves to be fancied up and covered in Bechamel.
As with any good gratin, this cauliflower gratin recipe isn’t low in fat or calories, but it is comfort food at its best. (Can you see the little pool of butter on top?) You can make it ahead of time and just bake it when you are ready. It should get beautifully brown and bubbly on top.
Cauliflower Gratin Recipe(serves 4-6)
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Break the cauliflower into florets and wash. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil and add a milk. Blanch the cauliflower by dropping into the water and boiling for 8 minutes or until just tender. Strain and put in a pot of col water for 3 minutes or until cooled. Slice florets until they are at most 3/4" thick slices.
Make the mornay sauce by melting butter in a sauce pan over low heat. In another pot bring the milk to a gentle simmer. Turn heat of butter to medium low, add flour and whisk together. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add hot milk. Whisk furiously, scraping down the sides and the corners until the roux is fully dissolved. Put back on heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, whisking continuously. Remove from heat and season to taste. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese.
Heat oven to 375F. Butter a gratin dish (I used a pie plate) and spread 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom. Layer cauliflower into dish. Pour sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese. Dot with remaining butter. Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.