Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower Gratin

Another nice winter dish, this gratin is easy to make and can be prepared in advance.

Ingredients
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream (or use 1/2 and 1/2)
2 T. flour
2 T. butter
2 oz. onion (1/4 wedge)
1 clove
1 small bay leaf
5 oz. grated Gruyere cheese (or use cheddar cheese if you prefer)1 large head cauliflower

Method
Begin by making the cheese sauce to top the cauliflower.

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Heat the milk and cream over medium heat to a simmer. Combine the flour and butter in a separate pan.

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While the milk and cream are heating, cook the butter and flour over medium heat, whisking to combine.

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When the butter and flour are simmering nicely, add the hot liquids.

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Whisk steadily while all of the liquid is added.

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Continue whisking until the mixture begins to simmer and any lumps are mixed smooth. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.

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Poke the clove through the bay leaf into the onion quarter, then add it to the pot.

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Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove the onion, clove and bay leaf. Whisk the cheese in, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve.

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Separate the florettes from the core of the cauliflower.

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Cut the larger florettes in half so all pieces roughly the same size.

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Boil in salted water until softened, but still firm.

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Drain and allow to cool.

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Arrange in an oven-proof gratin dish, then pour the cheese sauce over the top. At this point, you can cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate if desired.

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Bake at 350 F. until the sauce is bubbling and the tops of the cauliflower begin to brown.