Since last Friday’s post, My Week with Ina Garten was rather long, I am going to keep this week’s short and sweet. Or shall I say, short and savory?
Today, I am sharing with you a recipe for Cauliflower-Bacon Gratin which I absolutely adore.
The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s book, Around My French Table which I received as a gift from my cousin, Joan. Dorie is American, but splits her time between New York and Paris (sigh). Her book is filled with the type of French inspired, “elbows-on-the-table” food she serves to guests in her home. It’s a beautiful collection of recipes and since I too am in love with all things French and particularly the city of lights, I find the book appealing on multiple levels
Dorie is speaking at Wellesley Books next week, promoting her latest book, Baking Chez Moi. Joan and I are attending together (she was with me for Ina too!). It has been a good month for book tours!
If your Thanksgiving menu isn’t completely set in stone, this gratin would be a lovely addition to your side dishes, with or without the bacon. In fact, when I opened the cookbook to prepare the recipe, I reread Dorie’s introduction to the dish where she says that if the French celebrated Thanksgiving, they would most certainly find a place on the table for this gratin! That’s good karma!
The recipe was given to Dorie over 25 years ago and she has been making it ever since. I have also made it on multiple occasions, serving it as a light dinner with a green salad. It’s almost a cross between a gratin and a quiche minus a crust. Cauliflower is cooked until soft but still holds its shape, bacon is browned and the two are baked in a custard made with cream, milk, eggs, Gruyere cheese, a little flour and some seasonings. You could definitely add herbs or swap out cubed ham for the bacon. Or leave the bacon out entirely and make it a vegetarian meal. I’ve added some panko breadcrumbs to the recipe just to give the finished dish a little more texture, but you can leave them out if you’d prefer.
To complete some steps ahead of time, you could prepare the cauliflower and the bacon and grate the cheese. Store them in the fridge until you are ready to make the custard (which takes about five minutes) and then pop the dish in the oven for 25 minutes until puffed and golden.
I like to prepare mine in a pan such as this one, but you could use a smaller, deeper pan with good results.
See you next week, but before I go, I thought you’d enjoy these pictures. They were taken at Versailles a few summers ago when we were visiting. There was an art installment, including these “pumps”, completely made from pots and pans! A little shocking to see them in the Hall of Mirrors, but very clever I have to say!