Laura’s Cauliflower Gratin

Originally published May 16, 2012

I watched the episode that Laura Calder made this dish and it was one of those ones that looked so good I had to make it that night. I did substitute in cheddar cheese for the pricier cheese that I almost never have on hand – Gruyere cheese, which Laura used on the show. On the Food Network copy of this recipe, it also states that the cauliflower should be “just shy of being tender,” while on the show, Laura said that you want it, “pretty much done.” I went with the word straight out of her mouth and I have to say, it was pretty darned good!


1 1/2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, split
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour 
1/2 cup cheddar cheese 
1 head cauliflower florettes 
1/4 cup breadcrumbs 
2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


1.) Make the sauce by bringing the milk to a simmer in a saucepan with the bay leaf and garlic. Cover, turn off the heat, and let infuse, about 15 minutes. Melt the butter in the saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute to remove the raw flour taste. Gradually whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring, until thick. Stir in the cheese, season with salt and pepper, and reserve.

2.) Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt the water and blanch the cauliflower until just shy of being tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with a tea towel. Season with salt and pepper, then toss with the sauce and dump into a gratin or casserole dish. Scatter over the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and bake until bubbling and gratineed on top.

3.) Serve and enjoy!