Cauliflower is a delightful fall vegetable, so I was pleased when I recently came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Cauliflower with Onion Sauce. This dish contains cauliflower florets smothered with a rich and creamy sauce made with cream and onion puree. It is then topped with lightly toasted bread cubes.
Here’s the original recipe:
Making the sauteed bread cubes brought back warm memories of my mother in law. She often sauteed bread cubes to lightly toast them when making a topping for casseroles or other dishes. I generally go the easier route when making a bread topping, and use fine bread crumbs and skip sauteing them. But I really liked the larger sauteed bread cubes in this dish, and may have to make them again to top other dishes.
I couldn’t bring myself to use Crisco when I sauteed the bread cubes and instead used butter.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
2 large onions
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 head cauliflower
1 slice bread
1 teaspoon butter
Remove outer layer from onions, slice and place in a saucepan. Cover with water, and using high heat bring to a boil. Reduce and cook until tender about 15 minutes. Drain, then press through a sieve or puree (I used a Foley mill.) Combine onion puree, cream , salt, pepper, and egg yolk in a saucepan. Using medium heat, heat until the sauce thickens and is on the verge of boiling. Remove from heat.
Cut the florets from the head of cauliflower. Place in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until tender (about 8 -10 minutes). Remove from heat and drain.
Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Melt butter in small skillet using medium heat, add bread crumbs. Gently stir occasionally until lightly browned. Remove from heat.
Place cauliflower in serving dish. Pour onion sauce over the cauliflower, then sprinkle with sauteed bread crumbs.