Every week when I go to the farmers’ market I mull over which vegetables to purchase. Sometimes I have a recipe in mind and look for specific vegetables – other times I reverse the process and look for the highest-quality freshest vegetables I can find, and then I search for a recipe. This week was one of the latter weeks. The cauliflower looked perfect, and I just couldn’t resist buying a head.
When I searched for cauliflower recipes in hundred-year-old cookbooks, I came across a recipe for Cauliflower au Gratin and decided to give it a try.
The Cauliflower au Gratin turned out perfectly. The cauliflower was embedded in a creamy white sauce, co-mingled with rich melted cheese from the cheese topping. I put the cauliflower in a casserole dish instead of using the individual ramekins called for in the old recipe.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Cauliflower au Gratin
approximately 3 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (1 head of cauliflower)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1.2 cup milk
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350° F. Put the cauliflower florets into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil using high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until florets are tender (about 5 minutes). Drain well.
Meanwhile, in another pan, using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour and salt. Gradually, add the milk while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the white sauce thickens. Gently stir in the cooked cauliflower, and remove from heat.
Place the cauliflower mixture into a 1 quart casserole dish, and sprinkle with the shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until hot and bubbly (about 15 minutes).