|Fall Greens and Cauliflower Gratin|
|Written by Launie Kettler|
|Monday, 04 November 2013 09:33|
There are some recipe ideas that get into your head and linger there like a constant daydream. For me it was the idea of putting greens and cauliflower together in a creamy cheese sauce. I was slammed with work and didn't have the energy to get into the kitchen for awhile, but I promised myself that the first thing I'd make would be this dish.
Also, it was the last of our Northwestern Farmers Market greens and I wanted them to go out with a bang. A big bang.
And the gratin was everything I'd hoped it would be. The top was crunchy, the filling was decadent. All in all, it was a delicious meal to enjoy with a glass of wine while the wind howled and rattled the windows.
Hello November, it's nice to see you too.
Note: This is not a “weeknight” meal. It takes some time. None of the steps are difficult at all, but it's not something you want to start on an empty stomach and tired feet. However, you could make the topping ahead of time and store it in an airtight container for a couple of days in the fridge. You could also use frozen cauliflower to speed it up a bit.
Fall Greens and Cauliflower Gratin
2 cups roughly chopped cauliflower, or frozen and thawed
1 bunch swiss chard or kale (any type) stripped from the stalk
1 bunch chicory, rough ends removed
1 small red onion, diced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup parmesan, shredded
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
(If using frozen cauliflower ignore blanching directions.) Bring 2 large pots of salted water to a boil. Prepare 2 ice baths in medium bowls. Blanch cauliflower for 4 minutes. Blanch greens in the second pot for 1 minute. Drop cauliflower in one ice bath, and the greens in the other. Let cool for 1 minute and drain. Squeeze all of the moisture from the greens, and roughly chop. Grease a small casserole dish with butter. (I used a 8x5 inch pan, but a 9x9 would be good too.) Place cauliflower on the bottom of the dish and top with greens.
In a medium saucepan melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 4-6 minutes. Add flour and stir well for 1 minute. Add milk and cream and whisk well. Heat until just simmering. Add parmesan and whisk well until melted. Add cheddar one handful at a time and whisk until incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves and worcestershire sauce. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour cheese sauce over vegetables.
Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a small frying pan. Add panko and remaining thyme leaves and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir frequently.
Top casserole with browned panko. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, and bake until sauce is bubbly and panko is golden.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)
|Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 10:04|