Cauliflower Gratin (Serves 4 to 6)
Copyright 2004, Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved
Photo: Quentin Bacon
1 (3 pound) head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¾ cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese, divided
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, ½ cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan cheese.
Pour one third of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 11 x 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining ¼ cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.