Cauliflower Goodness

June 28, 2017

Healthy meals are pretty easy to make, albeit sometimes boring if the lean protein and vegetables drizzled with olive oil combo shows up too often on the plate. I love variety, and I love things that satisfy the need for creaminess and cheesiness and even crunchiness, but I don’t love the calories that come from them. Or feeling like I’ve ingested several bricks afterward. So I was intrigued when Cook’s magazine featured a Cauliflower Gratin that didn’t call for cream. I read the ingredients and was a bit put off by the gratuitous use of butter since there’s not much difference between butter and cream. Hell, beat the cream long enough and you get butter, so what’s the point? So I read the recipe instructions and realized I could cut back enough on the fattening stuff to make the recipe work for me. Now, would it be delicious?

Modified Cauliflower Gratin

1 head cauliflower, about 2 lbs.

2 T. unsalted butter

¼ c. panko breadcrumbs

1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated and divided (about ½ c.)

¼ tsp. dry mustard

¼ tsp. grated nutmeg

Big pinch of cayenne

½ tsp. cornstarch dissolved in ½ tsp. water

Heat oven to 400 degrees with rack in middle of the oven.

Pull leaves off of cauliflower and trim bottom of stem. Cut out the core, halve lengthwise and slice thinly. Place in the bottom of a double boiler or large saucepan. Slice the cauliflower head into ½ inch slabs. Trim off florets and put into a bowl. Slice stalks from bottom of florets thinly and place in bottom of double boiler. Add about 1 c. of the florets to the double boiler along with 1½ c. water and 2 T. butter. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling place the remaining florets in the top of the double boiler, or add a steam rack to the saucepan and place the florets in it. Cover and cook until the florets are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove florets to the bowl, cover the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the stems are very tender.













While the cauliflower cooks heat a skillet over med-high heat and add the panko. Stir continuously until the panko browns, and remove to a bowl to cool. Once cool, add ½ of the Parmesan and mix.
























Transfer the stem mixture and cooking liquid to a blender. Add 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, mustard, nutmeg, cayenne and the other ½ of the Parmesan. Process until smooth, it should be quite liquid. With the blender running add the cornstarch/water mix.


































Pour the puree over the florets and toss to coat. Transfer the mix to a casserole sprayed with cooking spray, and scatter the panko/Parmesan mix over the top.
























Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes until bubbling at the edges, and the crumbs and Parmesan brown up a bit more. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 20 minutes.












Serves 4

4 Weight Watchers Smart Points per serving.

I have to say, this was delicious, cheesy, creamy goodness with a crunchy topping.  Another dish I’d serve to guests or for Thanksgiving and they’d never know the difference.



For a printable recipe click here: Modified Cauliflower Gratin




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