There is a little bit of retro associated with this dish. I think its been kind of been lost in recent years….except in bain maries in RSL club bistros across the country. I’m bringing it back! Done right Cauliflower Gratin really is a superb accompaniment to a roast dinner.
My version doesn’t use flour based Bechamel sauce, instead it is made in the French tradition using cream. Preferably use Gruyère or Emmental if you can, but secretly I have also made with Greek Kefalograviera cheese and it worked just as well.
For a variation, add a small potato, chopped into cubes and scattered raw amongst the cauliflower (as I have done in this pic below). This way you get double joy – Cauliflower AND Potato Gratin.
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 bay leaf
300ml thickened cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1. Heat the thickened cream in a small saucepan and simmer gently for about 10mins. Allow to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile while the cream is cooking, put cauliflower, bay leaf and a good pinch sea salt into saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Cook until the cauliflower is just tender. Drain and remove bay leaf.
3. Grease an oven proof dish with butter and place the cauliflower into the dish.
3. Beat the egg and mustard together and then mix into the warm cream. Add 1 tsp sea salt and stir quickly. Pour cream over the cauliflower. Make sure the cauliflower is well covered.
4. Grate over the cheese and bake at 180C for 45 mins until golden brown.