This Creamy Cauliflower and Gruyère Gratin is truly transcendent. It’s rich, but boy oh boy is it good. The cauliflower mixed with homemade curry powder (go for it), cream, and Gruyère cheese, and then topped with Panko bread crumbs, and then baked to perfection…is…well, perfection. Serve it in small cast iron skillets or in a 9×13 casserole dish. Either way, your guests…and you…will absolutely love it. Oh, and if you can, make the homemade curry powder…it’s so flavorful, but not overpowering. Just wonderful.
Creamy Curried Cauliflower and Gruyère Gratin
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter plus a bit more for greasing the dish
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp curry powder preferably homemade
- 2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp garam masala*
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
- 12 cups cauliflower cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (usually, about 3 small/med heads)
- 1 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups Gruyère cheese grated
- 2 cups panko Japanese bread crumbs
- *Available in specialty markets like Whole Foods or Indian markets
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Butter a 9x13 baking dish, or 4 individual cast iron skillets
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan, then add the onion and cook slowly over low heat until soft, 6 - 7 minutes.
- Add the curry powder, salt, pepper, and garam masala.
- Cook, stirring to combine and heat the spices, for 3 minutes.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring, until the ingredients are well combined.
- Slowly pour in the milk and cream, stirring to incorporate.
- Add the thyme and bring to a simmer...simmering for 5 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower and lemon juice.
- Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the cheese, stir until melted.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared dish(es).
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and combine with the bread crumbs.
- Top the cauliflower mixture with the bread crumbs.
- Bake until the cauliflower is tender and the bread crumbs are golden brown (about 30 minutes for individual skillets, and 45 for 9x13 dish).
- Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.