In the Kitchen: Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower GratinThanksgiving always brings me back to the inspiring pages of Smitten Kitchen.

Without a lot of time this year, the cauliflower gratin recipe here is perfect for anyone who wants to throw together a quick but substantive side dish.

Cauliflower Gratin - Flour and Butter

Cauliflower Gratin - Mixing in the Gruyere




The shopping trip for this is quick too, mainly two types of cheese and a head of cauliflower. See below for the full grocery list, hopefully most of which you’ll already have in your kitchen. It’s a really great healthy alternative to mac and cheese. It has all the makings of that classic kid favorite, but with the earthiness of cauliflower — a really underused vegetable in my opinion — instead.


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • salt, black pepper
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Prep work is straightforward too:

Cauliflower Gratin - Ready to Bake

  • Heat up the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut the cauliflower into florets and cook them in salted boiling water until firm, usually about 5 minutes. Drain when done.
  • In a separate saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat, then add the 2 tablespoons of flour. Mix for 2 minutes, then pour hot milk into the mix until it all comes to a boil. By whisking it nonstop, the mixture should thicken.
  • Take that off the heat then add 1 teaspoon of salt, sprinkle in pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Also add half a cup of the graded Gruyere and 1/2 a cup of Parmesan.
  • Use this sauce to coat the bottom of your 8-by-2 inch baking dish. Pour in the cauliflower, then pour the rest of the sauce on top.
  • Cover that dish with the bread crumbs, and loving cheese, put the rest of the Gruyere and more on on top.
  • Melt the rest of the butter and drizzle it over the dish, and sprinkle on some salt and pepper
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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