cauliflower au gratin

a side dish, or on its own
everyone's favourite


This cauliflower au gratin is so easy to make and is a classic supper dish in the French home. It also makes a great accompaniment for other dishes of meat or chicken too, so is very versatile for you – and scrumptious!

Ingredients

• 1 cauliflower broken into florets

• 3 tablespoons/ 1½ oz/40gms  butter

• 4 tablespoons / 2 oz/50gms flour

• 1½ cups milk/ ¾ pint/375mls

• 1 bay leaf

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard - this is optional for you but is included in French method and is delicious.

• 1½ tablespoons / 6 oz grated Swiss cheese (or any hard cheese)

• Pinch of nutmeg

• Salt and pepper to taste

Method

• Prepare your oven by preheating it to 350°F/177°C/Gas 3

• Prepare your gratin dish or shallow baking dish by lightly brushing it with butter.

• Cook your cauliflower florets in slightly salted boiling water for about six minutes until just tender but not sloppy! You can also steam them if preferred for about ten minutes.

• Now to make the sauce. Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan over a low heat.

• Add the flour and cook until golden.  Some people use a  wooden spoon for this - I prefer to use a balloon whisk and stir gently. This way I get no lumps! Stir constantly.

• Pour in about half of the milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps forming and it will be lovely and smooth.

• Stir in the remaining milk,  then the bay leaf. Stir constantly.

• Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg to your taste - literally, taste it at this stage.

• Reduce the heat and simmer and stir for a few minutes.

• Remove from the heat for the next part.

• Remove the bay leaf.

• Add the mustard and half of the grated cheese and stir until melted.

• Place the cauliflower florets in your dish and pour over the cheese sauce  sprinkle the remainder of the  cheese on the top.

• Bake for about fifteen to twenty minutes until golden brown.

As you take it out of the oven, the smell is tantalysingly good!

Cauliflower au gratin is such a tasty and easy dish to make and is so versatile too. You can serve it just as it is with fresh crusty bread and a fresh green salad, or it can be equally good as a side dish with a main meal.