ffwd – cauliflower-bacon gratin

What a nice idea to finish out the year with a vegetable dish! I mean, after all of the rich meals over the last month or so… oh, yeah, this is a French recipe…there’s a bunch  bit of cream! But, it’s wrapped around some very virtuous cauliflower, so it can’t be bad, right?

This dish is very simple, but also quite tasty. As Dorie suggests, you could change vegetables (adding broccoli would certainly make it more colorful), but this is quite nice the way it is. Some cauliflower, bacon, cheese, all  wrapped in a custard of eggs and cream.

Because I was lazy, I used pre-cut cauliflower. As it turned out, it really looked like it was more like a half of a cauliflower based on the recommended baking dish size… so I just split the other ingredients. I also used Emmenthal cheese, which turned out great.

The recipe calls for the cauliflower to be boiled for several minutes until soft. I ended up using that method (it seems so French), though I didn’t boil mine quite so long – and probably could have stopped cooking sooner. I wanted the cauliflower to retain some texture, while having it tender too.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, it’s placed in a buttered baking dish. The bacon is sprinkled over, then the custard is made.

The mixture is seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once that’s complete, some of the cheese is whisked into the custard as well.

Once that’s all done, the dish is assembled, topped with cheese and ready to pop into the oven.

After about 25 minutes or so in a 425 degree oven, it’s perfectly puffed and browned on top.

I really liked this dish. I thought the flavor was terrific. I debate about adding a bit more bacon, but it was also nice to have that burst of flavor in some of the bites, and not all. And while it had some cheese and cream, at least it wasn’t potatoes. Or gnocchi. Oh, and by the way, I found that it did re-heat pretty well, and that it was good cold too. It didn’t last much longer than that!

If you’d like to try the recipe yourself, find it here.

16 thoughts on “ffwd – cauliflower-bacon gratin

  1. It sounds REALLY good. I hadn’t really thought about baking Cauliflower in pieces. I normally think about whole head, which is a lot for 2 people. I will try this. I love cauliflower.
    I never hear the word but I think about the day my Father was going duck hunting with his cousin. I was about 10 yrs. old. His wife asked me, just after we got up in the AM, if I liked cauliflower. I of course raved about how much I loved it. She immediately got out a large pot, filled it with water, put the cauliflower in and cooked the rest of the day. until after dark. Oh how I wished I had never said “I loved it”. I did eat a proper amount.

    1. Oh, I remember this story!!! I’m surprised you weren’t scarred for life! Wasn’t it kind-of gray-ish by the time she was finished?
      I think you would like it! If you don’t get to it, remind me when I’m up next. The halved recipe was a good amount (plus you get a little leftover, but not too much!)

  2. I made this one for the first time last year and adored it. Have made it many more times since and this week has been a Dorie extravaganza (duck, gratin, creme brulee) while on vacation. Great job and glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year from Nana and I !

  3. I love it too…the bacon and cauliflower goes well with the cheese…a great gratin! I added mixed herbs for extra flavor and it turned out great 🙂 Happy New year to you and I look forward to cooking along with you in the new year 🙂

  4. We loved this one, I did double the bacon and used applewood smoked bacon which was really yummy! By the way I had a grandma Johnson too! She was born in Oklahoma and moved to California when she was 2. Have a Happy New Year and I look forward to your recipes in 2012;-)

  5. Happy new year. We were with 5 persons at the dinner table. No left overs. Too bad, because I read in yours and other blogs, that it’s also a great cold meal. Maybe next time.

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