One of my favorite vegetables is cauliflower. I love it raw, grilled, steamed, sauté and au-gratin, which is my favorite way of preparing it and eating it!
But then anything that has cream, cheese and goes under the broiler will have me for life.
Just like I been craving corn for the past several weeks (and no, there is no baby in the oven) I started to crave cauliflower too.
So in no time, I made sure to include a nice cauliflower head during my weekly grocery stop.
I usually make béchamel for the base of my gratin, but I was not feeling it and wanted to do something faster, so I thought of the potato gratin recipe that I had done before which included making it with heavy cream and I remember that I read somewhere that I can infuse it with anchovy fillets – if you don’t like them, you can keep them out and instead, chop up some garlic very fine and use that instead – but trust me, the anchovy gives it a great taste (not fishy) and it disintegrates when you add it to the cream.
- 1 large cauliflower
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
- 1-2 fresh rosemary springs with leaves picked
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1¾ cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese - grated
- 4 slices of bread (sandwich bread is fine)
- 2 tablespoons of bacon bits (or you can make your own)
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Break the cauliflower into small pieces and add to a pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt and vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and put aside.
Chop up the anchovy fillets and put them into a bowl with the heavy cream. Stir in about ½ a cup of the Cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the olive oil, starting with 1 tablespoon and increasing if you think it needs more, into a food processor and add the 4 slices of bread with the crusts left on, the rasher of smoked bacon and the rosemary leaves. Whiz until you have breadcrumbs.
Place the cauliflower into a medium size-baking dish, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and spoon over the infused heavy cream sauce, and scatter the remaining Cheddar cheese. Top with the breadcrumb mixture and if you want sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese as well if you want it more cheese-y
Cook for 45 minutes until golden, crisp and bubbling. If you’d like it even more bronzed on top, preheat your broiler on “high” and finish for a minute or two under it – keep an eye on it, you be surprise how fast the broiler can “burn” your food.
Let it rest for about 10 minutes and served as a side dish.
What is your favorite gratin dish?