Fresh cauliflower is tossed with creamy béchamel, gruyere cheese, and topped with more cheese and crispy breadcrumbs. This cauliflower gratin is the perfect make-ahead side dish for any holiday table!
I absolutely love cauliflower – I know, I say that about everything, but it happens to be my favorite vegetable. A lot of people dislike cauliflower for whatever reason, but with this gratin recipe, even the top cauliflower critics will change their minds!
Cauliflower has always been my favorite vegetable – even as a kid. Whenever I would spend time at my Grammy Al’s house she would always take me to the grocery store and let me pick out a few things that I wanted to eat while at her house. Now, most kids would choose candy, cookies, chips or some other form of junk food, but not me – I always went for the cauliflower! I’d gladly take it steamed, boiled, roasted, even raw, but this recipe makes it something special.
Sometimes it’s nice to go meatless for a night (for me it’s most nights) during the week. I know I’m always looking for new ways to eat my veggies, and what a better way than baked gratin style? Seriously, if you love potatoes au gratin, you’re going to love this!
The sauce is much lighter than a classic gratin – onions are cooked in a little butter and olive oil, thickened up with some gluten-free flour, and made creamy with low-fat milk. Toss in some fresh thyme, a little gruyere, and your cauliflower and pour in your baking dish. I top with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs – it gives you a great cheesy, crunchy crust, and makes you think you’re eating something really indulgent.
I like serving the cauliflower gratin as a main dish alongside a salad, but you can easily make this as a side dish to chicken, beef, or pork. It’s very simple to put together and perfect for making ahead, which means it would also be a great addition to your holiday dinner menu!
- 4 Cups Cauliflower, from 1 large head, cut into florets
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
- 2 Cups Low-Fat Milk
- ½ Cup Gruyere Cheese, grated and divided
- ¼ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 425º.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the cauliflower until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 3-4 minutes or until the onions are soft; season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and mix well; cook for about 1 minute and then add the milk. Allow the milk to come to a simmer and slightly thicken, and then add in half of the cheese and the cauliflower and toss to coat.
- In a small bowl mix together the remaining cheese and panko; set aside.
- Pour the mixture into a 9x9-baking dish and top with the cheese and breadcrumb mixture. Bake the gratin at 425º for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.