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Cauliflower Gratin

serves 6-8 as a side dish

Creamy, comforting cauliflower gratin is given a little lift from freshly ground nutmeg and some quality melted cheese. The rich béchamel pairs perfectly with al dente steamed cauliflower for a superb side dish.


1 recipe basic white sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into florets
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Gruyère, Fontina, Jarlsberg, or any other white cheese that melts well


prep: 15 minutes
total: 45 minutes


stock pot or steamer
microplane zester
casserole or gratin dish
large bowl
baking sheet


1. Prep one recipe of basic white sauce. Stir in the nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

2. Preheat the oven to 375F. While the white sauce is cooking, prep and steam the cauliflower until soft, 8 minutes. Remove to a mixing bowl.

3. Brush the casserole dish with the olive oil. Be sure to rub the upper edges and lip of the dish. 

4. In a large mixing bowl, mix the white sauce and cauliflower, making sure that the cauliflower is well covered with sauce. Fill the casserole dish, taking care to mound the caulflower into the middle of the dish and away from the side. It will bake better this way.

5. Top the cauliflower with a thin layer of grated cheese and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

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