Jacques Pepin Cauliflower Gratin
Jacques Pepin is one of our all-time favorite chefs. Hailing from Bourg-en-Bresse in France, he has made television history by publishing numerous cookbooks with extensive and delicious recipes. I especially appreciate his knowledge regarding wine – something I sadly lack myself! Additionally, his extensive library offers tasting sessions during his shows; so if you haven’t watched any yet I highly suggest watching any or all.
Since finding this cauliflower gratin recipe from Essential Pepin, Michael and I have enjoyed its comfort and simplicity. You can make it ahead and reheat before serving, making it perfect for company or potlucks alike. I like topping mine with butter/panko crumb mix and grated gouda for an added crunch.
Blanching cauliflower florets ahead of time makes the process even simpler: bring a large pot of salted boiling water to boil, add in the florets, and simmer for approximately four minutes, or until tender. Chill them in an ice bath until ready to use in an ice bath later on before draining and prepping your baking dish with two tablespoons of butter, three tablespoons of flour and medium high heat stirring constantly until nutty-scented before gradually whisking in milk, seasoning as necessary and pinches of pepper and nutmeg to complete this dish!
Butter a baking dish and pour one-third of the sauce into it. Arrange cauliflower over the sauce layer, pour remaining sauce on top and top it all off with grated cheese before baking at 375F for 30 minutes until it no longer jiggles in the center and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.