Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gratin of Cauliflower with Gruyere

I love Cooking Light magazine. And, it's not because the article I wrote for them back in 2005 entirely paid for my wedding (although it did ... really!). The recipes are amazingly good. They're high in flavor without being high in calories. That's what I call a win-win. Anyhow, I'd been meaning to try the following recipe. The weather here has turned really cold (we're dropping to the teens at night) and windy, so my taste buds scream for comfort food.
I have never particularly liked potatoes au gratin (thanks to Betty Crocker and boxes of dehydrated potatoes from my childhood). But, this made-from-scratch version is decadent. I halved the recipe and used asiago fresco since I didn't have gruyere. (Note, I did not halve the panko topping. And, I used a bag of frozen cauliflower instead of fresh.) My husband, who isn't a big fan of cauliflower unless it's mashed, liked this recipe. It's easy to prepare and is loaded with flavor (depending on the cheese you use). Enjoy!

Gratin of Cauliflower with Gruyère
Gruyère's nutty, earthy flavor is a nice match for subtle cauliflower, and crisp breadcrumbs add texture. Substitute broccoli for the cauliflower, if you prefer. You can prepare all the elements for the dish a day ahead, if necessary. Refrigerate the sauce, the cauliflower, and the breadcrumb mixture separately, and simply assemble before baking.

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (about 2 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons butter
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Place cauliflower in a 2-quart broiler-safe baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; coat cauliflower with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until almost tender. Cool 5 minutes.
3. Preheat broiler.
4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in panko. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese and chives.
5. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 cup cheese, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley, and pepper. Pour milk mixture over cauliflower mixture; toss. Top evenly with cheese mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly heated.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

CALORIES 161 (34% from fat); FAT 6g (sat 3.6g,mono 1.7g,poly 0.3g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 20mg; CALCIUM 233mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18g; SODIUM 295mg; PROTEIN 9.7g; FIBER 3.6g

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