Mashed Cauliflower Gratin

Mashed Cauliflower Gratin
Mashed Cauliflower Gratin. Photo © Laura Dolson
Total Time 60 min
Prep 25 min, Cook 35 min
Yield 10 servings (132 calories each)

Whether on a holiday dinner table or cold winter's night, potato gratin is a welcome and comforting side dish. But if you are watching your carbs or looking to increase your nutritional intake, potatoes don't really fit the bill. That's where mashed cauliflower gratin comes in—you will still savor the creamy, cheesy goodness while getting the health benefits of cauliflower. Cauliflower has significantly fewer calories and carbohydrates than potatoes, along with a little more fiber.

This recipe is essentially a mashed cauliflower with the addition of eggs, cheese, and a little nutmeg, baked in a casserole or gratin dish. If you add an extra egg, it becomes more custard-like and puffs a bit more. This can be made ahead and baked before serving; if cold, it will take 15 to 20 extra minutes to bake.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped or cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons instant potatoes, optional
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or Cheddar cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cook the cauliflower until fork-tender—either microwave, covered, with a small amount of water, or steam on the stovetop.
  3. Blend cauliflower with the cream, butter, salt, pepper, mustard, nutmeg, and instant potatoes if using. An emersion blender works well, but you can also use a regular blender or food processor. (If you use a regular blender, let the mixture cool somewhat before blending. Warm ingredients are fine, but a hot mixture has the tendency to "explode" when blended with a lid on.)
  1. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add eggs and blend. Mix or blend in 1 cup of the cheese.
  2. Pour into a casserole or gratin dish, and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  3. Bake about 30 to 40 minutes, until top is golden brown. Exact time will vary by the shape of the baking dish.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

The amount of butter and cream you will need varies slightly with the individual cauliflower, as the exact amount and moisture content varies. (You can use a large head of cauliflower—just add an egg and a little more of the other ingredients to achieve a creamy consistency.) Also, milk can be substituted for a less-rich casserole, with slightly more carbs. 

 

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