I love vegetables.
See, I love to eat a lot of them plain or roasted or just tossed upon a light salad. But others I love when their flavors are forced to reach new heights in decadent dishes that make the house smell of bubbling deliciousness.
Is that too descriptive? One might think so…until one tries to make this cauliflower gratin. Then one might be changing one’s mind!
Let me paint a picture for you: little Heather, growing up in West Texas, sitting at her dinner table with her family and munching on cauliflower in a light cheese sauce. I love cheese, but I can promise you that – believe it or not – the cauliflower was my favorite part of that dish. Fast forward to now where I haven’t even attempted my mom’s cheese sauce (some things you just let mom do…no sense in ruining it by making it myself!) and Nate is standing in the kitchen telling me he really only likes cauliflower when it’s raw and dipped in ranch dressing.
Yep, he’s a Texas boy all the way!
I promised him many times over and over again that he would really enjoy the cauliflower this way too…I mean covered in buttery onions and topped with bread crumbs and Swiss cheese? Who wouldn’t love that? I had a point to prove…and the verdict? He went back for seconds and ate leftovers the next day. I guarantee this is a big deal because my man doesn’t enjoy leftovers as much as I do…but that’s what he wanted to eat!
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk (I used cow’s milk, although you could use unsweetened almond milk and it would be great)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- dash of ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko because it’s what I had on hand)
- 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot melt the butter and add the onions. You’re going to want to slowly cook these bad boys for about 10 minutes or so over medium low heat until they’re completely translucent. Add in the cauliflower and cook for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir til it’s completely combined with the vegetables. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring until everything is combined. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and let the mixture thicken until it coats the back of a spoon. Pour into a greased pan (I used a pie plate – use whatever you like that’s about that size). In a small bowl toss together the breadcrumbs and grated cheese and then sprinkle evenly over the top of the gratin. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden brown. If after 20 minutes it’s bubbly but not golden, turn on the broiler to achieve the crunch and color. Serve hot!