Cauliflower Gratin – Cauliflower often gets overlooked when it comes to tasty side dishes. This Cauliflower Gratin starts with a creamy cheesy homemade bechamel sauce that layers with steamed cauliflower and shredded cheese which magically transforms it into a gratin. Initially, I started preparing this gratin so we could have something similar to macaroni and cheese, but, without the pasta. The sauce has a creamy and silky texture and with the addition of plenty of gooey cheese, the kids like it too!
Author: Melissa Sperka
- 3 cups steamed cauliflower florets
- 4 Tbsp butter
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups light cream or whole milk
- ½ tsp each tarragon, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper & salt
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2½ cups shredded Italian blend cheese
- 1 cup crushed croutons or buttery crackers
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Steam the cauliflower florets then roughly chop them into bite size pieces. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the sauce.
- On the stove top over medium high heat, melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a small saucepan. Add ⅓ cup of flour. Whisk together until the butter and flour combine to form a roux.
- Whisk all of the seasonings and the Dijon mustard into the light cream.
- Lower the heat to medium. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the roux, whisking continually. After adding all of the cream continue to whisk until it begins to bubble.
- Lower the heat and allow it to gently simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Add 1½ cups of shredded cheese to the sauce, then remove the saucepan from the heat, stirring until the cheese has completely melted.
- Divide the remaining cheese into three equal parts.
- To assemble, ladle cheese sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish, next cauliflower then shredded cheese. Repeat ending with shredded cheese.
- Sprinkle the buttered crumbs on top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbly.
For the topping, I used Ranch flavored croutons for the crunchy topping. You could use your choice of seasoned breadcrumbs or buttery crackers, if desired.