A simple dish topped with a crispy crust of breadcrumbs and melted cheese, gratins are a rustic, crowd-pleasing way to serve up the flavours of fall. Rich and creamy with a beautiful crunchy and cheesy top, this dish is perfect to serve along all your favourite fall roasts.
1 hr 15 mins
1 head local cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 8 cups/2 L)
8 slices bacon, cut into thin strips, divided
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook cauliflower for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside in a bowl.
In a large, deep, oven-proof skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Return skillet with bacon fat to medium heat and add leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes or until very soft and becoming golden. Add to bowl with cauliflower.
Add butter to same skillet and melt over medium heat. Stir in flour, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until bubbly and thickened. Stir in Gruyère and Parmesan cheeses until melted. Stir cauliflower mixture and all but 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the bacon into sauce until well coated.
Topping: In a small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs with reserved 1/4 cup (60 mL) bacon, Gruyère cheese, butter and parsley until well coated. Sprinkle over top of cauliflower. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.
If you do not have an oven-proof skillet, transfer the cauliflower mixture into an oven-proof casserole dish to bake.
This classic, one-pan meal is perfect for those nights when you want to treat your family to something delicious and hearty without the big cleanup. For added creaminess, add a generous dollop of sour cream!