Alison's Cauliflower Gratin
Cauliflower with a cheese sauce is so retro.
Welcome 2020, where everything old is new again.
I can remember broccoli and cauli smothered in cheese sauce when I was a kid. It came in frozen packages, and disguised the awful veggies so kids would eat it.
Who would have thought that 45 years later, I would be making a casserole dish with a vegetable in a cream sauce with melted cheese.
I recently needed a holiday party side dish, and since everything in Alison Roman's new book NOTHING FANCY has been pretty great, I went retro.
This is not a low-fat dish by any means, but it's hearty and delicious and is so good in the winter hibernation months, when all I want to do is watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and eat carbs with melted cheese.
Alison Roman's Cauliflower Gratin: (adapted from Nothing Fancy)
1 large head of cauliflower, sliced into 1/2" slices
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 + cup of shredded gruyere or white cheddar cheese
kosher salt & pepper
1 cup of heavy cream
4 tbsp butter
2 cloves minced garlic
panko crumbs for topping
Preheat oven to 425F.
Slice the cauliflower into 1/2" slices. Lay the smallest pieces and bits on the bottom of a large casserole dish. Season with kosher salt & pepper.
Layer with the sliced onions and a layer of shredded cheese.
Repeat layers, remembering to salt & pepper after the cauliflower layer.
End with the cheese.
In a small saucepan, simmer the minced garlic, butter and cream for a minute or two.
Pour this lusciousness over the casserole dish.
Bake covered with foil for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake another 15 minutes.
If you like, you can add panko crumbs (mixed with olive oil) and add an additional 8 minutes to the baking, so the crumbs get nice and brown.
Some advice: You can definitely assemble this dish hours before, however, I would not bake it ahead of time.
I would serve it directly from the oven when it is piping hot, crusty and bubbly.
I made the mistake of letting it sit 2 hours after baking, and it was a bit mushy on the inside. Cauliflower tends to do that after roasting at high heat.
It was delicious anyway, but I love a crusty gratin, so would cook it and serve it immediately next time.
Dieters need not apply.
Happy New Year! xoxo