Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon Topping is a simple and delicious alternative to my recipe for Country Scalloped Potatoes or Potato Gratin. It combines Healthy Cauliflower, heavy cream, half and half, parmesan cheese, and crisp bacon as a tasty topping the entire family will enjoy this Fall.
Before I make one of my creations with the idea of placing the recipe on my Blog for you, there are a few things I always do — I research my recipe online, recipes are never truly our own creations unfortunately. If I have made it or thought it up, chances are someone has made it long before I was ever thought of or even born . If they have made it, I like to compare our recipes and techniques… You can always learn something new, or even more beneficial when making a recipe.
The other most important thing to me as well as you the reader is– Before ever thinking of placing a recipe on my blog, I test it not just once, but at least 2-3 times. I make any needed adaptations or adjustments for you to be able to enjoy the recipe at home without fail. There’s nothing like a “complete flop recipe” from the web when you are expecting company.
Interestingly enough while looking around on the net at some recipes, I found out one of my beloved inspirations Julia Child, turned 100 years old on August 15th, 2012 and a panel of chefs and culinary experts compiled a list of the 100 most-beloved recipes by Julia Child Number 93 was her Cauliflower au gratin with cheese (Chou-fleur à la mornay, gratiné), from the recipe book of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I . While, I did not use her lovely recipe for Cauliflower Gratin to make mine today, after researching her recipe I really would like to try it out next time.
Below you will find some interesting Facts concerning the Cauliflower plant, as well as my recipe for Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon topping.
Interesting facts concerning Cauliflower
For Cauliflower being such a highly modified plant, the vegetable cauliflower has a long history. The Cauliflower plant was originally was grown in Asia and around the Mediterranean Sea.
Cauliflower has been grown and enjoyed across Europe since the 1500’s.
The Cauliflower plant was introduced to France from Genoa, Italy in the 16th century, and are featured in Olivier de Serres’ Théâtre de l’agriculture , as cauli-fiori as the Italians call it, which are still rather rare in France; they hold an honorable place in the garden because of their delicacy.”
Cauliflower was first cultivated in Margaretville in 1891, when William F. VanBenschoten planted a handful of seeds on his farm on a mountaintop overlooking the village. The vegetable thrived in the region, and Mr. VanBenschoten’s first crop found a ready market in New York City.
Cauliflower is closely related to broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips, rutabagas, and Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable. It is called this because of the flowers have four petals and resemble a Greek cross.
Cruciferous vegetables are full of nutrients that may help prevent cancer
Cauliflower is actually a flower that hasn’t fully developed yet
Cauliflower leaves are edible, but they do have a more stronger taste than the florets
China is the world’s leading producer of cauliflower
California produces the most cauliflower –than any other state in the USA. Cauliflower is grown in the Salinas Valley of California also known as the “Salad Bowl of the World.”
Green cauliflower is produced when you cross cauliflower with broccoli
Cauliflower Gratin Recipe
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
- Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons or (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 heavy cream
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan, divided x2
- 3 slices of crisp bacon ,chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes, drain
- While waiting, melt 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add in the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes. Pour the heavy cream and half and half into the butter and flour mixture and stir until it comes to a low simmer, whisking constantly, for 1 minute or until thickened.
- Remove the pan off the burner, add 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and the 1/2 Parmesan cheese.
- Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 of Parmesan cheese,chopped bacon, salt and pepper.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.
© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms.