cauliflower cheese

Cauliflower Cheese



1 large head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets

10 cups water


1 cup milk

For the sauce:

3 tbsp butter

3 shallots, finely minced, about 4-5 tbsp

3 cups cauliflower stem and trimmings, small 1/2-inch dices 

3 cups whole milk 

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

black pepper, to taste

salt, to taste


1/2 cup Emmental/Swiss cheese, grated

1/4 cup bread crumbs


Preheat your oven to 400-430 °F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the water, salt and milk. Precook the cauliflower florets for 5 minutes. Drain and set them aside.

For the sauce

In a saucepan, heat 3 tbsp of butter over medium heat, add the shallots and sweat them for 2-3 minutes. 

Add the cauliflower stem and trimmings and sweat the mixture for 1-2 more minutes. 

Add the milk, bay leaf, thyme, nutmeg, black pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. 

The milk should cover the cauliflower pieces completely (you can add more enough to cover them). Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook over low flame for about 5 minutes . 

Once the cauliflower pieces have lightly softened, transfer the sauce into a blender and puree until smooth. If the sauce turns out too thick for your liking, adjust the consistency by adding more milk. Season the sauce to taste with salt.

In a casserole dish, mix the precooked cauliflower florets with the sauce. 

Sprinkle with Emmental/Swiss cheese and bread crumbs. 

Bake the gratin in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Once the gratin is ready, turn on the broiler to lightly brown the top for 3-4 minutes.