Three-Cheese Cauliflower Gratin

If there’s a better way to eat cauliflower than this gratin from Blacklock, we have yet to come across it. A powerhouse of English cheeses—Montgomery’s crumbly and nutty cheddar; Ogleshield, a washed-rind Jersey cow milk cheese; and buttery, blue-veined Colston Bassett Stilton—blankets cauliflower florets in a béchamel. 

Three Cheese Cauliflower Gratin
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Yield:
12

Ingredients

  • 3 quart water

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 medium cauliflower heads (about 4 pound total), cut into florets (about 12 cups), stems discarded

  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (about 61/3 ounces), divided

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/4 ounces)

  • 4 cups whole milk, warmed

  • 7 ounces Montgomery’s mature cheddar cheese or other aged cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 3/4 cups)

  • 7 ounces Ogleshield cheese or Dubliner cheese, shredded (about 1 3/4 cups)

  • 1 ounces Colston Bassett Stilton cheese or other creamy blue cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup panko

  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely ground in a food processor (about 1/3 cup)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over high. Season with 1/3 cup salt. Add cauliflower, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a large bowl filled with ice water. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain cauliflower, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels; set aside.

  2. Melt 2/3 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium. Gradually whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in warm milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in cheddar, Ogleshield, Stilton, white pepper, nutmeg, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt until smooth.

  3. Transfer cauliflower and 5 cups cheese sauce to a large bowl; stir to coat. Spoon mixture into a 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Pour remaining 1 cup cheese sauce over top. Bake in preheated oven until edges are bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Place melted butter, panko, and Parmesan in a small bowl; stir to combine. Sprinkle panko mixture over casserole, and bake at 425°F until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

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