Baked cauliflower gratin, easy and super crispy recipe
Very tasty and very easy to prepare, baked cauliflower gratin is a light and always popular side dish that goes well with a wide range of main courses, from fish to meat to vegetarian dishes.
Its strong point? Definitely the enveloping flavor of the cauliflower further enhanced by the béchamel sauce and cheese, but especially the golden crispy crust on the surface, enclosing the cauliflower in all its softness!
Our recipe is designed for 8 people, to cater for a large number of diners on festivals and holidays.
NB: As an alternative to béchamel sauce, baked cauliflower gratin can be served simply with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Baked cauliflower gratin: recipe for 8 people
For the cauliflower gratin:
- 1,500 g white cauliflower
- Grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to taste.
For the béchamel (500 g):
- half a liter of whole milk
- 50 g butter
- 50 g 00-type flour
- salt to taste
- nutmeg to taste
- pepper to taste
Clean the cauliflower by cutting out only the florets. Steam for 10 to 15 minutes, or boil in boiling water for 10 minutes. Allow to dry and deposit in a nonstick baking dish or baking sheet.
Meanwhile, prepare the béchamel sauce: melt flour and butter over very low heat, stirring with a hand whisk, then pour in the milk a little at a time, continuing to stir. Raise to medium/high heat and stir for 3 to 4 minutes, until the sauce has reached a velvety consistency. Finally add salt and, if desired, nutmeg or pepper.
Pour half of the béchamel sauce onto the pan with the cauliflower, coating it well, then a couple of tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, followed by the remaining béchamel sauce and Parmesan cheese again.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180°, then for another 5 to 8 minutes with the grill mode at 200°.
When a golden, inviting crust forms...the cauliflower gratin is ready!
Cauliflower gratin and variations
We have shown the traditional version of baked cauliflower gratin. From here you can start to make endless variations depending on personal taste and the ingredients available. For example, you can add diced cooked ham, or sprinkle with different types of cheese such as scamorza, emmenthal, gorgonzola, mozzarella.
Enjoy your meal!