Saturday, February 23, 2008
Gratin with Purple Cauliflower, Fennel, and Leeks
More purple cauliflower love... Normally I make gratins with potatoes and fennel. And since I love mashed cauliflower (Have you tried? It's like mashed potatoes but without the carbs. Hmm. I should have made mashed purple cauliflower!), I figured the taste would be similar enough if I added fennel, leeks, and topped with parmesan bread crumbs. The beauty of this recipe is that if you still have leftovers from my roasted purple cauliflower with bacon and balsamic vinegar recipe, you can add that to this dish as well. Gratin with Purple Cauliflower, Fennel, and Leeks For an 8X8 inch pan, you'll need: Half a head of cauliflower, about 1 1/2 lbs, sectioned into florets or sliced thinly 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced thinly 1 large leek, sliced thinly 1 cup bread crumbs, or crushed homemade garlic croutons 1/2 cup parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup milk or cream 2 to 4 tblsp butter, sliced into pats 2 tblsp corn starch Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Section about half a head or 1 1/2 lbs of cauliflower into florets or slice thinly. Sprinkle salt on top to absorb excess moisture. Set aside. Thinly slice fennel bulb and leek. Press cauliflower to remove any moisture and then toss with fennel and leek. Place mixture into a lightly greased 8X8 inch pan. Depending on how much you like butter, add about 2 to 4 tblsps on top of the mixture. Dissolve 2 tblsps corn starch into 1 cup milk. Then pour mixture over cauliflower, fennel, and leeks. Mix 1/2 cup parmesan cheese with 1 cup bread crumbs. Add to top of cauliflower. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until milk has turned into a bechamel sauce and topping is crispy. I like my vegetables tender-crisp, but you may need to leave the gratin in the oven longer if you want them softer. Look at the gratin's lovely lavender cream. Enjoy! My other purple cauliflower recipes: Purple Aloo Gobi (Indian Potatoes and Cauliflower) Roasted purple cauliflower with bacon and balsamic vinegar ***** 1 year ago today, French pastries made by real Frenchmen in the heart of Little Saigon at Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie - Garden Grove.