Just look at this scrumptious cauliflower au gratin: baked cauliflower florets in a classic creamy white cheese sauce… This side dish recipe reminds me so much of my granny’s cooking!
Don’t you have a couple of food memories?
Memories that remind you of your grandma?
Here’s one of mine.
And here’s why.
Three years on end me and 4 my siblings we would have lunch at our grandma’s home every Thursday. And that’s because my mom decided to go back to university to study and get a degree. I know, my mom rocks!
So she would be gone in the early hours on Thursday and only be back late at night. Two hours by train to Brussels, and then back in the evening.
My dad and my older siblings would take care of us in the mornings and evenings. My grandma took care of lunch. And one of the dishes that she made almost every week, was this cauliflower au gratin.
Easy Cauliflower Au Gratin in Cheese Sauce
With loads of cheese on top of course.
Just because my grandma liked her cheese and butter and cream. And so did we. We all adored her cooking. And even after three years we couldn’t get enough of it.
Another dish that she used to make like one one else, is pan fried potatoes. You know, cooked cold floury potatoes in a heavy pan with loads of butter. Crispy on the outside. Smooth on the inside.
I can still see that frying pan in front of me!
A heavy old cast iron, with a wooden handle and a little metal ring at the end. I think that pan was her mom’s even.
Do you love cheese sauce vegetable au gratins?
Then you also ahem to check out my Brussels sprouts au gratin with crunchy bacon! Oh, you will love that one as well.
Easy Cauliflower Au Gratin Recipe
Scrumptious cauliflower au gratin: baked cauliflower florets in a creamy white cheese sauce... This side dish recipe reminds me of my granny!
- 1 ⅓ lbs fresh cauliflower (600 g)
- 1 oz plain flour (28 g)
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 oz unsalted butter (28 g)
- 1 cup whole milk (240 ml), warm
- a handful parmesan cheese grated
Cut the cauliflower into large florets and rinse them well.
Fill a large pan with water and season with a little pinch of salt. Then add the cauliflower and place the pan over medium-high heat.
Blanch the cauliflower for 5 to 6 minutes until a little softer but still crunchy. Drain the blanched cauliflower well (or the sauce will become a little watery later on) and add it to a baking dish. Let it cool a little. In the meantime add the unsalted butter to a medium saucepan.
Place this over medium heat and let the butter melt gently. Then add the plain flour.
Stir the flour and butter well until you get a sticky paste. Let it bake gently for 2 minutes to get rid of the floury flavor. Stir regularly and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Season with a pinch of pepper, salt and nutmeg. Then pour in a little splash of the warm milk.
Stir well. Now gradually add extra drops of the milk little by little until all of the milk is incorporated.
Let the sauce cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to thicken a little. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or nutmeg to taste if necessary. Then pour the hot white sauce over the blanched cauliflower.
Sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese and the dried thyme.
Pop the dish under a preheated grill and brown the cauliflower for a couple of minutes until the white sauce and grated cheese is nicely golden brown. Remove the cauliflower and pelt it cool for a couple of minutes. Then serve warm.