My mom found this recipe in a magazine, and we made it as one of our veggie side dishes for Thanksgiving this year. The rich and creamy warmth of this dish will make anyone eat their vegetables! The white wine and rosemary add an enormous depth of flavor – I can’t wait to try this recipe with different veggies, cheeses, and herbs!
8 cups Fresh Cauliflower Florets (1-2 heads)
4 tbsp (1/2 stick butter)
2 tbsp fresh chopped Fresh Rosemary
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 tbsp Flour
1/2 cup White Wine (or Stock)
2 cups Milk (I recommend Whole Milk)
1 1/2 cups grated Cheese (I prefer Gruyere or Parmesan)
Salt & Pepper
Since I was home for the holidays, I went to this incredible new grocery store in Indianapolis called Market District. They have a beautiful array of organic vegetables at a great price – if you’re ever in the area, check it out… that’s where I found these wonderfully vibrant florets! Preheat the oven to 375º, and bring a large bottle of water to a boil. You’re going to shock the cauliflower. (Shocking Vegetables – Boiling them until just tender, then placing in ice water to immediately stop the cooking and preserve the vibrant color) Once the cauliflower is removed from the ice water, drain and dry completely (this step is very important, as failing to do this may result in a watery gratin).
In another sauce pan, melt the butter over medium/high heat. Once the butter starts to bubble, add in the fresh garlic and rosemary, then stir for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Whisk in the flour until it forms a thick paste, then add in the wine. Continue to stir until it has reduced and thickened into a few tablespoons. Add in the milk while stirring to ensure there are no lumps in the mixture. Let this thicken (you should be able to drag your finger on a wooden spoon coated with the mixture, and have it stay completely separated – this is called a béchamel. Once it is thick, remove from heat and stir in half of the cheese (3/4 cup) until melted. Put half of this mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Top with all of the cauliflower. Add the remaining sauce and then top with the rest of the cheese (and a rosemary garnish, if desired).
Bake until the top is brown and bubbling (about 20-25 minutes, depending on the oven). Sometimes, I’ll even throw on the broiler for a few minutes to make sure the top is extra crispy!
Tip 1 – This dish can be made ahead of time! Rather than placing it in the oven, you can store overnight in the refrigerator, or even freeze until you are ready to bake. Just make sure you let the dish thaw and come to room temperature before baking.
Tip 2 – Make a double batch! Since you’re going through the working and messing up your kitchen, why not? Two dinners for the effort of one is always the way to go!