Smoked Gruyere Cauliflower Gratin with Dijon Breadcrumbs.
This cauliflower gratin is the perfect cozy side dish that goes with just about anything! Made with smoked gruyere cheese and crunchy dijon breadcrumbs, it’s savory and decadent and delicious.
It’s side dish city over here!
I’m all about finding the best sides to go with holiday meals, so today I’m coming at you with the creamiest, most delicious cauliflower gratin.
This cauliflower gratin is made with smoked gruyere cheese, some parmesan, a little nutmeg and topped with dijon mustardy croutons. Baked until golden and crunchy on top, it’s almost like cauliflower in mac and cheese sauce.
This cauliflower gratin is always the star of the show. It’s unbelievably delicious. It’s ridiculously cheesy. And the breadcrumbs on top!!
OH my word.
I use the same breadcrumbs that I do in my cauliflower white bean soup. Just toasty sourdough crumbs mixed with melted butter and dijon mustard. They are buttery and tangy from the mustard. They are the perfect crunchy topping and when you get a bite of the cauliflower with the breadcrumb bits, it’s heaven.
This is how I make it!
First, the cauliflower has to soften a bit. I like to do this in the microwave because it’s so easy. I cut the head of cauliflower into florets and place them in a bowl. Then, I add a splash of water, cover the bowl and microwave for a few minutes to steam the cauliflower.
The is key! This is the only way that your cauliflower will be tender enough. Otherwise, it will not cook and be tender if it’s simply roasted with the sauce. Make sure to steam it first.
Next comes the smoky gruyere sauce. My oh my how I love smoked gruyere cheese. It’s divine! I start this by making a roux with butter and flour. Then I stream in the milk. Cheese is up next! Add it with the pot over very low heat. I sprinkle in a little parmesan as well as a few delicious grates of fresh nutmeg.
Time to combine! The steamed cauliflower florets go into a baking dish. The cheese sauce is poured on top. Then comes the mustardy breadcrumbs.
Gosh I love this part. I tear apart a few pieces of sourdough bread, then toast them in a skillet with dijon and butter. Those go on top of the cauliflower as well as some extra cheese too!
Into the oven it goes. This takes around 30 minutes. It’s mouth-wateringly incredible and you’ll want to eat it with a spoon right out of the baking dish!
Not to mention, it goes with just about every main entree you can think of!
Who knew vegetables could be so wonderful!!
Add it to your menu and you will be the happiest.
Smoked Gruyere Cauliflower Gratin
- 2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 ½ cups freshly grated smoked gruyere cheese
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- kosher salt and pepper
- 2 cups sourdough bread pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoons dijon mustard
- fresh thyme, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Place the cauliflower florets in a microwave safe bowl. Add ⅓ cup of water and cover the bowl. Microwave until the florets are fork tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the water from the cauliflower bowl. Place the florets in the baking dish.
- Make the sauce! Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to create a roux. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture smells nutty and fragrant. Stream in the milk while whisking the entire time. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking often, so the mixture can thicken.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add in 1 cup of the grated gruyere and the parmesan. Stir until the cheese melts. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper and the nutmeg. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Pour the sauce over the cauliflower in the baking dish.
- To make the mustardy breadcrumbs, tear the bread into pieces. Heat the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the dijon. Add the bread pieces and toss, cooking for a few minutes until the bread is toasted and golden. Sprinkle the bread pieces on top of the cauliflower dish.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden and bubbly and delicious. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve!
Those golden bits!