Cauliflower Au Gratin
Gratin is a culinary technique in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg or butter. Gratin originated in French cuisine and is a baked in a shallow dish. Potato Au Gratin is a creamy cheese sauce and the tender potatoes in this classic French dish combine to make a deliciously addictive experience and Au gratin is traditionally made with potato. But then it is also made with all the vegetables combined together and cauliflower au gratin is equally popular.
Cauliflower Au Gratin is about blanched cauliflower being mixed with creamy cheesy sauce, is a super easy recipe with tons of flavors into it. Giving the cauliflower a head start before going in the oven is a must for this recipe. You can do this two ways. Simply add cleaned cauliflower florets into a large bowl, and you can steam cook it. Alternatively another method would be to blanch the cauliflower. Heat a large pot of water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse to stop the cooking process. The cauliflower should be fork tender and not over cooked, else the casserole will turn mushy.
Cauliflower 1 kg (cut into small florets)
Butter 4 tablespoons
All purpose flour 1/3 cups
Milk 3 cups
Cheddar cheese 1 cup
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper 1/2 teaspoon
Nutmeg grated 1/4 teaspoon
Bread crumbs 1 cup
Cheddar cheese 1/4 cup
Butter melted 1 tablespoon
Dried Oregano 1 teaspoon
How to Start?
Preheat oven to 210 degrees centigrade.
Separate cauliflower into florets and either steam for 5 minutes or boil in large pot of water for 5 minutes, until just barely tender. Drain and set aside.
In pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add 1/3 cup of flour and whisk until smooth and mixture is bubbling. Do not burn the flour.
Add milk and continue to stir until thick. Add one cup of Cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir until melted.
In a wide mixing bowl, mix together both the par cooked cauliflower and cheese sauce.
Transfer this into a baking dish. Now for the topping, combine melted butter, cheese, dried oregano and bread crumbs in small bowl. Sprinkle on top of cauliflower.
Bake for 20 minutes at 210 degrees centigrade or until top is crispy and cauliflower is tender.
Do not over cook the cauliflower
Any cheese variety can be used. Traditionally Gruyere cheese is used. Cheddar cheese can be a good substitute.