Now a gratin is a seriously easy dish. It is creamy, hearty and definitely comfort food material. Serve as a side dish with a roasted meat or bulk them up with some chopped ham or tons of veggies and serve as a main course with salad and bread. For this gratin, I swopped out the roasted leeks for caramelized onions because I didn’t have leeks on hand. Just toss sliced onions into a sauté pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and salt and sauté on medium low heat for 20-25 minutes until they are dark brown (not burned) and sweet. You might also throw in a teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar half way through cooking to add another layer of flavor to the onions. Then chop the onions and toss them with cauliflower for the gratin.
Overall, this recipe is really versatile so you could pretty much use anything you want. Once you master the art of making a béchamel (aka creamy white sauce), which is quite easy, just takes a bit of whisking, you will find it is useful for a whole host of dishes. Never shy away from anything that helps deliver more cheese to your food people :-) !
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin
(Adapted from the Working Cook)
• 2 small heads cauliflower, about 3 pounds untrimmed
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• Kosher salt and pepper to taste
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 large leek
• 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
• 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
• 2 cups low-fat milk
• 1/2 cup (generous) grated Parmesan, Gruyere or Manchego cheese
• Kosher salt and white or black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
• 1 to 2 ounces ham, cut into baton shapes (optional)
• 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
To make the roasted vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400°.
Cut the cauliflower into florets that are 1 1/2 inches wide. In a large bowl, toss the florets with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet.