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Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower Gratin
  • Category

    Side Dish

  • Cusine



1 head cauliflower, cored, broken into bite-sized florets

2 medium-small leeks, cleaned, halved lengthwise, sliced into 1/4-in thick slices, white and light green parts only, about 2 cups

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp all purpose flour

1 1/3 cups milk

4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt


1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp butter

1/4 teaspoon salt


Melt butter on medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. Add the sliced leeks and gently cook until completely softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the leeks are cooking, place cauliflower florets in a steamer basket in a saucepan over an inch of water. Bring water to a boil, cover, and steam the cauliflower for 3 to 4 minutes. The steaming should just take the rawness out of the cauliflower, but not cook it so much that it is tender. You want the cauliflower at this stage to be al dente. Remove strainer and cauliflower from hot pan and set aside.

Add 2 Tbsp of flour to the leeks and butter. Stir and let cook for a minute or two. Slowly add the milk, stirring as you add it to break up any lumps. Bring to a low simmer and continue to stir as the sauce thickens.

Once the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, stir in 3 ounces of the shredded cheese , the thyme, nutmeg, and salt. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread a teaspoon of butter over the insides of a 2-quart gratin dish. Place the lightly steamed cauliflower florets in an even layer in the dish. Pour the leek and cheese sauce over the cauliflower. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.

While the gratin is baking, melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a small sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the fresh breadcrumbs and toast in the melted butter for 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a sprinkling of pepper. Remove from heat.

After the gratin has baked for 25 minutes, remove it from the oven. Sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs over the top and return to the oven. Bake for 5 more minutes.