I love any side dish that can stand alone as a main course or be the star of whatever meal is being served. Cauliflower Gratin is just such a dish. The recipe is super easy, a fool-proof winner and perfect for any kind of weather or season.
Let me tell you, this is so good I recently gave it as a birthday present and the recipient was thrilled! In the recipe, I’ll share what my favorite cheese is to use, but experiment to your own taste and whatever you have available. Cook’s note: This recipe shines if the cheese is has a sharp bite to it. I’ve made it with milder cheeses and was a little disappointed. A hint of nutmeg adds to the creaminess of this dish. You can easily change this to a gluten-free option by substituting almond or quinoa flour to the roux.
Oh dear, I think I want to make this again tonight! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
p.s. My husband is not a fan of cauliflower but he loves this recipe!
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted if possible
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or quinoa, almond or other gluten-free flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
- ⅛ heaping teaspoon ground nutmeg, or more to taste
- ½ cup grated sharp cheese like Jarlsberg, Irish Swiss or gruyere - divided
- ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan, more or less to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place cauliflower florets on a microwave-safe plate and cover with wet paper towel.
- Microwave on high for about four minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Place the cauliflower in a single layer into an 8x8 inch baking dish.
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add flour and whisk until it makes a bubbly paste.
- Gradually add the milk and stir until the sauce becomes thick and creamy.
- Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, nutmeg and half of the sharp cheese. (Do not add the parmesan yet.)
- Spoon the sauce over the cauliflower florets and sprinkle with remaining sharp cheese as well as the parmesan.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese sauce is soft and slightly golden.
- As written, this recipe serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course.