Curtis Stone’s Cauliflower Gratin
1 head cauliflower
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 quart whole milk
2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
2. While water is heating up, break up cauliflower into medium to small florets. Cook cauliflower for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just barely tender but still has a bit of bite. Transfer cauliflower to a bowl of ice water and cool completely. Remove cauliflower from ice water and allow to dry completely.
3. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
4. Heat a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and stir until melted. Whisk in flour to blend well. Cook, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes, making sure mixture doesn’t take on any color. Slowly whisk in milk and bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until flour taste is gone, stirring often and making sure sauce does not stick to bottom of pan.
5. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of cheese, whisking until melted and smooth. If sauce thickens too much, thin it out with a little more milk. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Place cauliflower in an ovenproof dish and drizzle sauce evenly over cauliflower. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top of cauliflower and bake for about 10 minutes, or until top is light golden brown.
7. Let stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Make-Ahead: Cauliflower can be blanched and cheese sauce can be made up to 1 day ahead, cooled, covered separately, and refrigerated. Rewarm sauce, covered, over low heat, adding a bit more milk to adjust consistency, as needed.