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cauliflower gratin

November 30, 2009

This is a recipe I’ve made for the past two Thanksgivings.  People are always in shock when I tell them that the cheesy, creamy gratin is a recipe from Cooking Light (to be honest, I’m still a bit skeptical myself).

I’m not normally a big low-fat, low-cal anything fan, but this recipe delivers on taste without being too heavy.  Much of this has to do with the process of roasting the cauliflower.  In doing so, the cauliflower takes on this wonderful nutty taste that really carries the dish.  You won’t miss the calories in this one.

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin
adapted from Cooking Light

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (about 2 lbs)
cooking spray
1/2 cp grated Gruyere (divided)
2T butter
2T chopped chives
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs *
1/2 cp finely chopped onion (or half a large onion)
1 garlic clove
3T ap flour
2 cps 2% milk
3T chopped parsley*


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place cauliflower in a 2 qt broiler safe baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; coat cauliflower with cooking spray (I don’t own cooking spray, but a dash of olive oil worked fine).
  3. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt; toss.
  4. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until almost tender.  Cool 5 minutes.  They should look nice and toasty.
  5. While cauliflower is roasting, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from heat.  Stir in breadcumbs*.  (for the breadcrumbs, I simply used day old baguette thrown in the food processor for  a few spins.  I actually preferred the outcome, but make sure to get them nice and toasty)
  6. Stir in 1/4 c cheese and chives.
  7. Add onion to pan; saute 4 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently.
  8. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk; bring to a boil.  Cook 3 minutes, or until thick, stirring constantly.
  9. Remove from heat; stir remaining 1/4 c cheese, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, parsley*, and pepper.
    *On almost every occassion of making this, I’ve forgotten the parsley.  Lesson learned: it’s just fine without it.
  10. Pour milk mixture over cauliflower mixture; toss.
  11. Top evenly with cheese and breadcrumb mixture.
  12. Broil until golden brown and thoroughly heated (about 5 minutes or so).

Serves 6 as a side.


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