Everyone loves potatoes made au gratin, but that can be heavy. A lighter way to enjoy those same flavors and textures is to swap out the potatoes and use cauliflower instead. You still get that rich and creamy dish you always loved especially when you use rich and velvety cashew milk. And for that extra-special something that says spring, use purple and orange cauliflower for those bright colors!
Creamy Cauliflower Gratin [Vegan]
- 3 pounds cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
- 2 cups cashew milk, warmed
- 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons vegan grated parmesan
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Core the cauliflower and cut the head into large florets. Blanche the cauliflower in a pot of boiling water for just a few minutes. You want to be tender but still have crunch. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour until well combined. Let it cook for a minute so you won’t taste the flour. Slowly add the warm milk, whisking, until you have a smooth sauce. This is your béchamel sauce. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cheese and whisk until smooth. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Put a few ladles of the béchamel sauce in the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish. Add the cauliflower to the baking dish and cover with the remaining cheese sauce.
- In a small dish, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan and oil. Mix and sprinkle over the cauliflower. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Turn the oven on broiler for 2 minutes to really crisp up the top. Let sit for a few minutes to set before serving.