Home Cooking In the Kitchen Autumn’s bounty makes every night like Thanksgiving, minus the turkey

Autumn’s bounty makes every night like Thanksgiving, minus the turkey

Cauliflower Gratin Photo: Kayleigh Van Vliet Baig

It’s finally begun to feel like autumn. As a chef, I appreciate the bounty of autumn produce. Fall vegetables can make some of the best dishes to enjoy during this cool weather season.

I’ve already been indulging in some of my favorite fall things such as baked apple desserts and pumpkin flavored beverages (maybe even overindulging). There seem to be so many fall vegetables that make my list of favorites I better start laying off the sugary stuff and catching up on indulging in some greens.

Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, spinach, sweet potatoes and cauliflower are just a few that make the favorites list. All of these veggies can be transformed into various side dishes, salads or can even be featured as a delicious soup. I prefer to eat a family style meal of fall veggie side dishes. Like Thanksgiving minus the turkey.

This recipe is one of my favorite cauliflower dishes. It’s simple and you can pretty much set it and forget it. The cauliflower is meant to be tender and soft with a crunchy topping and a cheesy sauce. Served alongside almost any protein it makes a great meal. It’s hearty enough to even replace your starch.

Cauliflower Gratin
Serves 6

3 lbs cauliflower (2 small or 1 large head), cored and cut into small florets
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese.
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cauliflower gratin Photo: Kayleigh Van Vliet Baig

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the cauliflower until just tender, approximately 5 minutes. Place in ice water to stop the cooking. Strain and set aside.

In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch, bring heat up to medium-high heat until the cream just begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.

In an 8 x 11 baking dish lay out the cauliflower. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower. In a small bowl stir together the Panko bread crumbs, olive oil and dried parsley until well combined. Spread evenly across the top of the cauliflower.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fully cooked and the crumb topping is golden brown.