Cauliflower gratin in definitely healthier than potato gratin. During the height of the Atkin's era I was eating mashed cauliflower as a way to fulfill my potato cravings. Nowadays, I prefer fresh vegetables over starch.
I used purple and white cauliflower for a more dramatic presentation since I was hosting a 'Girls' Night Out' Buitoni dinner party. Everyone was surprised at the purple cauliflower which surprised me because it always sitting next to the white cauliflower at the supermarket.
Purple and White Cauliflower Gratin
3 pounds cauliflower, cut into large florets
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Cups of hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly black ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 & 2/3 Cup freshly grated Gruyere
1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 Cup Panko crust
Preheat oven to 375F degrees
Cook cauliflower in a large pot of boiling water for 5-6 min until firm. Set florets in an ice bath.
Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in medium saucepan over low hear, add flour. Stir with a wooden spoon for 2 mins and slowly pour in hot milk while whisking. Bring the mixture to a boil until thicken slightly. Pour the sauce through a sieve to remove any lumps. Add salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of Gruyere and the Paramesan.
Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of a 8 by 11 by 2 inch baking dish. Placed drained cauliflower on top and pour rest of sauce over the florets. Combine the bread crumbs and 2/3 Cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter in microwave and drizzle of gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes until brown.
Ina Garten's recipe flavor is perfect, the gratin had a crispy top and nice texture. The only change in her recipe is pushing the sauce through the sieve before adding the cheese. I wanted to make sure I had a smooth sauce. I also used panko crust instead of bread crumbs because I like my topping crunchy.
The cauliflower gratin is a show stopper, I am adding this dish onto my Thanksgiving menu.