This delicious cauliflower gratin is really easy to make and delivers all the comfort of a baked cheesy casserole.
To make it, you bake the cauliflower florets with creamy mascarpone cheese, garlic-scented heavy cream, freshly grated Parmesan and a hit of aromatic fresh herbs like sage.
Make this simple casserole for holiday gatherings or any time you want a wholesome vegetable side dish everyone at the table will want to dive into.
You can bake the cauliflower in any shallow baking dish that’s at least 3 quarts, but I think it looks extra special on the table made in a pretty oval gratin dish.
Speaking of holidays, are you the type of Thanksgiving cook (and/or eater) who wants to sit down to the same lineup of food from year to year?
Or do you like to get a little bit crazy and try something completely new every time?
I’ve learned that there are definitely two distinct — and very personal — approaches to getting a holiday menu together.
There are the tried-and-trues, the keepers of family traditions who would never think of forgetting to make glazed sweet potatoes.
That camp includes rational, organized souls who keep things simple (doable) and predictable (foolproof).
Which makes a lot of sense.
How else can you expect to organize a crowd of people around a dining table and keep the peace?
I count myself in the other, open-to-experiment group.
While I’ve never ditched the turkey altogether and made fish instead (as Debra did in an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, to much disappointment), I see a lot of benefit in mixing things up.
What are some of your family favorites, old or new?
More Easy Vegetable Side Dish Recipes:
- Brown Butter Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Thyme
- Smashed Crusty Potatoes
- Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
- Baked Fennel with Mozzarella
Cauliflower Mascarpone Gratin
- 1 (1.5 kg) large head cauliflower, about 3 pounds, separated into florets (8 cups)
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) softened butter
- 4 ounces (125 g) mascarpone cheese
- 3/4 cup (185 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, rosemary or thyme (or a combination)
- 1 garlic clove, grated on a rasp grater or pressed in a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Blanch the cauliflower in a pot of boiling salted water 5 minutes. Drain well and pat dry.
- Heat oven to 425 (220C) degrees. Coat a 3-4 quart shallow gratin or baking dish with the butter. Arrange the cauliflower in the dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the mascarpone, cream, flour, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, herbs, garlic and salt until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, or until top is browned and sauce is bubbling. Rest 15 minutes before serving.
- The creamy sauce will thicken a bit as it cools, so be sure to let it set before serving.
- Make sure to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese, not the kind that comes in a can.