Gratin de Chou-Fleur / Cauliflower Gratin

cauliflowerIt’s not too late to add this side dish to your Thanksgiving table.  I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving but this dish from my childhood has all the makings to be part of the feast: creamy, cheesy and easy!  This is my mac&cheese comfort food.  Great on its own with a tossed salad for lunch or add some leftover cooked ham to the cauliflower and you have cauliflower in colander


  • Medium size cauliflower cut into 2 inch chunks florets and pieces, you will have about 8 to 10 cups of florets
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3 cups warm milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1.5 cup grated gruyere or cheddar cheese

Put florets in a colander, rinse and clean under cold water.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add a pinch of salt, drop the cauliflower in the boiling water, reduce the heat to medium/high and cook for 8 minutes.  Drain the florets, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the flour, stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Slowly whisk in the milk and keep whisking until thick about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Off heat stir in a half cup of the cheese before slowly mixing it into the bowl with the cauliflower until the florets are covered with the mixture.

Butter a gratin or lasagna dish with one tablespoon of butter.  Transfer the cauliflower to the dish and sprinkle with the remaining one cup of cheese. At this point you can cover the dish, refrigerate and bake the next day. cauliflower gratin

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees and bake the gratin for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and golden.

NOTE: You want to make sure you do not overcook the cauliflower or you will end up with mashed cauliflower.  Be careful with the salt as some cheese can be salty.  Taste the sauce before adding any.gratin cauliflower chou-fleur gratine

From my kitchen to yours!

CK, la fille du boucher

Roasted Carrots and/or Parsnips

Want a simple side dish? Something so easy it practically cooks itself, bringing out all of the natural flavors? Try roasting vegetables.  In this case I opted for carrots and parsnips.  This time of year they are in season and you can find many varieties of carrots at the farmer’s market.  All you need is fresh carrots, best quality olive oil, coarse sea salt, and herbs, and you have a great side dish.

Roasted Carrots or/and Parsnips

  • 2 bunches carrots or parsnips or a mix of the two
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped

Preheat oven at 400 degrees.

Cut off tops and bottoms of carrots and parsnips.  Peel and cut into fat matchsticks about 2 inches long.  To do so, cut the vegetable in half or third depending on the length.  Keep the bottom part intact and quarter or halve the top part depending on its thickness. You want the matchsticks to be close in size so they all roast evenly.

In a bowl, toss the vegetables with the oil, salt and herbs.  Transfer to a baking sheet and roast in the oven 15 to 20 minutes or until tender and golden, turning the vegetables once or twice during cooking time for even browning.  

NOTE: In the spring when baby carrots are available, roast them whole. Try different herbs or flavored oils; experiment and have fun!

From my kitchen to yours,

CK, la fille du boucher