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Cauliflower Gratin

Photo by Jonathan Boncek

Food Culture of the South

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yields

Recipe by John Ondo

    For the white cheddar mornay sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • cups milk

  • ¼ cup white wine

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Pinch of nutmeg

  • ½ cup shredded white cheddar
  • For the cauliflower gratin:
  • 2 medium cauliflower heads

  • 1 batch white cheddar mornay sauce
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup shredded white cheddar
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
steps
  1. Make the mornay sauce: In a small saucepot over medium heat, melt butter and add shallots, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes, then discard bay leaf and thyme. Add flour and stir constantly for 3 minutes. Add milk, increase heat to medium-high, and stir frequently until milk starts to thicken. Stir in wine, reduce heat to low, and stir for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat, stir in cheddar cheese, and keep warm on stovetop until ready to use.
  2. Make the cauliflower gratin: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cut cauliflower into medium to large florets. Boil florets for 4 minutes, then drain. In a medium casserole dish, add a third of mornay sauce to coat bottom; top with cauliflower. Pour remainder of sauce over cauliflower and stir to coat. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese, then bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
  • Serves 6 to 8

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