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I love gratins!
Gratins are a great way to have a complete main dish for the family. I sometimes use it as an opportunity to make an unwanted vegetable into something more enjoyable. You guessed it, the cauliflower is not always welcome at my table. However, I like this cruciferous vegetable which is a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.
My family enjoys a cauliflower a bit more with the French classic béchamel, cheese, and sometimes with ham. This time, I decided to be more exotic and used some yellow curry to make this Curried Béchamel Cauliflower Gratin.
Indian cuisine often pairs cauliflower with healthy spices, such as curry and turmeric.
My family told me that they prefer this version of Curried Béchamel Cauliflower Gratin to the traditional. It is different but tastier. I think that curry helps to reduce the strong flavor of cauliflower and pairs well with the cheesy topping. The béchamel gives a nice creamy texture to the dish.
Curried Béchamel Cauliflower Gratin
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
- 2 to 3 medium potatoes (optional)
- 1 garlic clove
- 3/4 or more cup Gruyère shredded
- 1 tsp herbs of Provence or Italian Seasoning
For the béchamel:
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 300 ml milk
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 to 1.5 tbsp yellow curry, to taste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3-4 slices ham or bacon (optional) diced
- In a medium saucepan, add the potatoes, and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender but firm, about 15 minutes.Drain the potatoes and let it cool a few minutes before peeling and cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Put them in a big bowl.
- You can choose either to steam the cauliflower or cook it on the stoveStove: Bring a large pot of water to the boil and blanch the cauliflower until tender but firm, about 8-10 minutes. Drain well. Put them with the potatoes. Add a little salt and mix gently (optional).Steam: In the Instant Pot, add 1 cup of water and place the steam basket with the cauliflower florets. Cover and seal. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. Quick-release the pressure.
- Preheat oven to 360 F.
To make Béchamel:
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook until soft. Add the flour, stir until smooth and the mixture turns to a light sandy color. Slowly pour the milk into the butter mixture and whisk continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. Reduce to low heat, season with curry, paprika, salt (put less if you add the ham), and pepper to taste. Add the ham or the bacon lightly browned in a pan to release the grease and drain on a paper towel (optional) and mix. Set aside.
- In a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish, rub the entire dish with half of a garlic clove, then grease the dish with butter or olive oil.
- In the bowl, pour the curry béchamel on the potato and cauliflower. Mix gently until all is coated by the sauce and finally put pour everything into the baking dish. Evenly sprinkle the cheese and top with the herbs.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until melted and golden on top. Let it cool for 5-10 min. before serving.