Cauliflower Gratin

March 10th, 2012

Two of my favorite cooks are Ina Garten and Dorie Greenspan.  Imagine taking their recipes for cauliflower gratin and combining them.  You have an immediate winner.  What I love about Dorie’s recipe is the bacon.  Cauliflower is somewhat bland and adding crispy bacon gives it a smoky punch.  What I love about Ina’s recipe is the Gruyere cheese sauce.  Although Dorie’s recipe has Gruyere cheese in it, the sauce is an egg custard and I was looking for more of a white sauce with cheese.

This is definitely a company-worthy dish.  It goes well with grilled meats and fish or simple roasts or chicken.  We have had it for several meals now and it reheats well.  I will be making another gratin next week when our friends are here for a visit.  It is always nice to have a great casserole in your repertoire.

The only thing I will do differently next time is use fresh breadcrumbs instead of whole wheat dried breadcrumbs.  The dried breadcrumbs were too dark and dense.  I think the cauliflower florets would show better with the fresh breadcrumbs.

CAULIFLOWER GRATIN (Adapted from Ina Garten and Dorie Greenspan)

1 head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups hot milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 to 4 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm.  Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.  Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil.  Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened.  Off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, the nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere cheese and the Parmesan cheese.

Pour one third of the sauce on the bottom of an 8x11x2-inch baking dish.  Place the drained cauliflower on top and sprinkle the bacon pieces over it.  Spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top.  Combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned.

Printable recipe

25 responses to “Cauliflower Gratin”

  1. Rita says:

    Another keeper Penny. I love taking recipes and making a few changes to make it personal. Another is that it can be made ahead and heated up when you are reading to serve.I am going to try it when broccoli; thank you.

  2. This one sounds wonderful. I love cauliflower and adding cheese and bacon….yummy!

  3. Big Dude says:

    This looks like cauliflower I’d really enjoy – it’s normally in the take-it-or-leave-it category, but it gets much better with cheese and bacon, as do most things.

  4. I adore both Ina and Dorie too and this hybrid recipe of both great chefs makes for an even stronger recipe. And you are right, the gratin looks beautiful and is a company worthy dish.

  5. Pondside says:

    Too funny – Penny, tonight’s company supper is from your blog – your Roast Pork with Red Pepper Jelly and now this. I’d planned something with cauliflower, and then, voila, you posted this nice twist – all I need is the Gruyere.
    I appreciate how easy it is to print your recipes – they print on one page and are simple and clear.

  6. Kate says:

    I agree that sometimes combining a recipe yields the very best! Ina + Dorie = Perfect!

  7. Penny says:

    Thanks Kate. That was my thinking as well.

  8. Lynda says:

    This sounds wonderful with a creamy, cheesy sauce and bacon too. Cauliflower can be rather bland by itself, so your marriage of 2 recipes sounds and looks like a winner!

  9. I’m not a big cauliflower fan, but with enough Gruyere, it would suit my taste buds.

  10. Even though I am not a fan of cauliflower, I have to like this post because… A.) I love bacon B.) I love Gruyere. C.) I love any piece of writing that manages to work in the word “florets.”

  11. Barbara says:

    They’re two of my favorites too. Our game changer group is doing Ina on Friday. There will be some lovely recipes from the group to check out. She was easy to do.
    Any veggie with bread crumbs, cheese and bacon is bound to be a smash hit with my group, Penny!

    • Penny says:

      Glad to hear it Barbara. Can hardly wait to read your Ina post. You gals have been doing such a great job with the game changer series.

  12. Lyla says:

    Love it! I’ve sent this on to a dozen friends who, along with me, always lament there’s just not that much you can do with cauliflower. This will help considerably with our veggie repertoire. Thanks.

  13. Judy says:

    This is my kind of dish. Love cauliflower. Ina is one of my faves too.

  14. Penny says:

    Thanks Judy. You can’t go wrong with Ina.

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