I hate to bring up the "T" word already since it's not even Halloween. BUT in case you haven't noticed, Thanksgiving is FOUR weeks away! That's only four weeks to plan your meal, revise your meal plan five times (or maybe that's just me), make multiple grocery (and liquor store) store runs, and cook a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner.
While the turkey, stuffing, and sweet potato dishes are no-brainers for me, I like to switch things up when it comes to veggie sides. Enter: White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin.
I made this for a dinner with friends where I was testing Thanksgiving recipes. I think it's safe to say this White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin was the star of the show. Well, aside from the pie. I mean, you can't compete with pie. But this gratin. This cheesy, creamy, crunchy topped gratin. It gives vegetables a chance against pie.
Going into creating this White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin, I knew I wanted three main things: a buttery breadcrumb topping, a creamy but not greasy cheese sauce, and non-mushy cauliflower.
The breadcrumb topping? Easy. Butter + breadcrumbs + Parmesan cheese = heaven.
Creamy but not greasy cheese sauce? Half cream and half milk with (gasp!) not too much cheese.
Non-mushy cauliflower? Now that part was a bit trickier. I felt that if I attempted to par-boil the cauliflower before baking it with the cheese sauce, I ran the risk of over-cooking it too easily. So I roasted it for just 20 minutes it before mixing it with the cheese sauce and it worked out beautifully. Perfectly softened and not overcooked cauliflower with a depth of flavor from roasting.
All together? Perfection. So while it might be early to start thinking about Thanksgiving, it's not *too* early to start thinking about it. This is one dish you're going to want on that menu!