Serves 6 to 8
This cauliflower gratin recipe is easy and very good. Some of the preparation can be done ahead so the casserole comes together quickly just before baking. For a similar side dish, see the recipe for broccoli gratin in the similar and related recipes links.
- 1 large head cauliflower, broken into small florets, about 7 cups in all
- 6 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted, divided
- 1 cup fresh bread cubes, about 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk or half-and-half
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons dried marjoram leaves (can use oregano)
- 1 cup shredded sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350° F. To prepare cauliflower, cook in lightly salted boiling water until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well; place in a buttered 13x9x2-inch baking dish.
Melt the 6 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place the bread cubes in a bowl and add 4 tablespoons of the melted butter. Mix well and reserve for later. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour to the remaining butter; whisk or stir vigorously until well blended, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the garlic, paprika, nutmeg and oregano. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and just starting to boil, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the pepper. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and stir until combined. Top with the bread cubes, then the Parmesan cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Notes: The cauliflower can be cooked ahead and kept at room temperature for about 2 hours, or refrigerated for one day. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before adding the sauce and, if necessary, add about 10 minutes to the baking time.