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Last Updated on December 22, 2020 by Aimee
This Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin was inspired by one of my favorite Food Network chefs, Ina Garten. The recipe is incredibly easy and is yet another way to enjoy cauliflower!
How to make Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin
The first thing you’ll need to do is melt butter in a saute pan.
Add a bit of flour to the melted butter and stir, stir, stir.
It should look like this. We are basically just cooking out the flour taste and making a simple roux.
To the flour mixture, slowly add hot milk, whisking constantly. It will incorporate, I promise 🙂
If you were making a classic roux or using Ina’s recipe, you might add grated nutmeg. I’m just not a fan personally.
Once it’s smooth and bubbling, it’s time to add the cheese.
What cheese works best in this recipe?
Ina used grated Gruyere and parmesan. I say use whatever you like! I do enjoy using one shredded melting cheese and the grated parm, but the options really are endless. The rules are…there are no rules.
I had some miscellaneous cheeses and ended up using parmesan, mozzarella and Monterey Jack. Don’t forget to add salt and pepper at this point as well.
Could I use broccoli for this recipe?
Absolutely! In fact, a mixture of both cauliflower and broccoli would be nice too.
I steam the cauliflower florets until almost fork tender (don’t over cook). It will continue to cook in the oven.
Add a layer of your cheesy mixture to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
Next, add the steamed cauliflower.
Top with the remaining cheese sauce.
You could use prepared breadcrumbs here, but I like a coarser texture. I took two pieces of regular white bread and pulsed them in a food processor.
Toss in the reserved cheeses.
Add melted butter, fluff with a fork and top your gratin.
Bake at 375 degrees until golden and bubbly. Be sure to let this gratin rest for at least 5 minutes before you enjoy. Not only does it allow it to cool slightly, but it also thickens up as it sits.
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Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin
- 9 x 13 baking dish
- 1 head Cauliflower cut into florets
TO MAKE THE CHEESE SAUCE:
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 4 tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 2 c Milk bring to a simmer so it's HOT before adding
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg OPTIONAL
- 1/2 c Shredded Cheese like Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Swiss, etc.
- 1/4 c Grated Parmesan
TO MAKE THE BREAD CRUMB TOPPING:
- 1/4 c Bread Crumbs prepared or homemade
- 2 tbsp Butter melted
- 1/4 c Shredded Cheese
- 1/4 c Grated Parmesan
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER:
- Trim the head of cauliflower, removing the leaves and stem and cutting into bite sized florets.
- Place the cauliflower in a steamer over simmering water and cook until just barely fork tender.
- Drain away any excess water and set aside to cool.
FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE:
- Melt butter in a large pan with all purpose flour, stirring constantly to cook out the raw flour taste.
- In a saucepan, heat milk. If you add cold milk to the flour, you will have lumps. Whisk the hot milk constantly as you add it into the flour mixture and it will incorporate in just a few minutes. Bring to a boil.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and add salt, pepper and optional nutmeg along with the two cheeses. Whisk until melted.
- Add about 1/3 of the cheese sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- Next, add all of the steamed cauliflower in an even layer.
- Add the remaining cheese sauce over top.
FOR THE BREAD CRUMB TOPPING:
- In a food processor, add two slices of bread (any kind) and pulse into breadcrumbs. Alternately, you could use prepared panko breadcrumbs.
- Melt the butter (I use the microwave).
- Toss with the cheeses and sprinkle over the cheese sauce.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Allow to cool slightly before serving, as it will continue to thicken up.