CAULIFLOWER GRATIN (gratin de chou-fleur, for six)

1 whole cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and broken into florets

6 tablespoons ricotta cheese

½ cup light cream

freshly grated nutmeg

fine sea salt

½ cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


1.  Preheat the broiler.

2.  Bring about 3 cups of water toa simmer in the bottom of a vegetable steamer.  Place the florets of cauliflower on the steaming rack.  Place the rack over the simmering water cover and steam until the cauliflower is soft,15 to 20 minutes.

  3.  Transfer the cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor or a blender.  Puree.  Add the ricotta and the cream and puree until very smooth.  Season to taste with nutmeg and salt.

4.  Transfer the mixture to a 6 cup baking dish, smoothing it out with the back of a spatula.  Sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Place baking dish about 5 inches from the broiler.  Broil until golden, about 3 minutes.  Serve warm.

adapted from Patricia Wells,The Provence Cookbook

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