Yesterday I was reading through my latest edition of Everyday Food by Martha Stewart and I came across an interesting sentence. It read, "Eating season has begun, so make those yummy dishes for your family without guilt." Eating Season? I have been alive on this earth for 30-some-odd years and never knew about Eating Season? Well, sign me up. I'm ready for some good filling and good tasting food. On that note, I have not one but two recipes for one of the most underused vegetables in American kitchens today: the humble cauliflower.
My friend Anna is the one who got me thinking about a cauliflower gratin dish a few weeks ago when she shoved some leftovers in my face and told me I would love it. I totally did, but I couldn't remember her simple recipe, which happens to be this:
Cauliflower Anna Style
Melt together 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 4 tbsp melted butter, and add 1 cup of mayonnaisse. Pour over 1 head of steamed cauliflower, cut into florets. Broil for 1-2 minutes until browned and bubbly.
So I turned to my old friend the internet to find a recipe that would be close to it. I knew there was cheese and mayonnaisse in it, and for some reason I thought there would be sour cream in it, so I found this recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen for a Cauliflower Gratin adapted from A Pinch of Salt Lake cookbook.
Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan
from Kalyn's Kitchen
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 T mayonnaisse
4 T sour cream
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
fresh black pepper to taste
3 T finely grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cauliflower into boiling water and cover, steaming for about 10 minutes, or until it just starts to get tender. Drain into a colander placed in the sink.
While cauliflower cooks, whisk together mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, and pepper. Stir in cheddar.
Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the well-drained cauliflower into the dish and spread out evenly. With a rubber scraper, pour the cheese mixture over the top. It won't cover the cauliflower completely, it's more like a topping. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and bubbly.
Both recipes happened to be fabulous. The only problem is that even in this form, my family wouldn't eat the cauliflower. I ended up eating almost the whole thing by myself. I don't even want to think about how many calories are in a whole version of one of these. Not to mention the number so much cauliflower did on my stomach. But that is a post for another day. The good thing is, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, this is another great veggie side dish you can make and WOW people with. It's beautiful, easy, and healthy. (We'll just focus on the cauliflower healthy, not the mayo healthy, okay? Okay.) I think the next thing I'll spring on my family is Mo's Cauliflower Pizza Crust. They'd love that, wouldn't they?