Cauliflower and goat cheese gratin.

Easy to prepared side dish of bubbly warm cheeses with cauliflower is one of my favorite colder weather weaknesses.

Cauliflower is my go-to vegetable. I love the versatile it is. It blends beautifully with any sauce you prepare it with.

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Gratin

This wonderful cauliflower au gratin holds three of my favorite cheeses: Goat cheese, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan cheese.

Each cheese brings a layer of flavor to this dish.

In this Article

Cheeses

This gratin showcases smooth Monterey Jack, salty Parmesan Cheese, and tangy goat cheese.

Monterey Jack cheese

A smooth Californian white, semi-hard cheese made using cow’s milk. Mild in flavor and with a slight sweetness to it.

An excellent cheese when you need cheese with a high melting factor. Due to the high fat and moisture content, the Monterey Jack is one of the best melting cheeses.

Favorite in all dishes that require melting, such as baked pasta, quesadillas, or grilled cheeses.

Goat cheese

Goat cheese is made with goat milk, and I use it with many of my cheese recipes.

I love the softness and spreadability of it, making it a preferred cheese as a base for appetizers or adding goat cheese to my salads for that great extra flavor.

Goat cheese recipes are tangy and so rich in flavor.

Parmesan Cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano

Made with cow milk, this fantastic cheese has a saltiness to it. Drier in texture, it is excellent over pasta, rice, soups, and salads.

The more aged, the more profoundly intense the flavor gets.

I always suggest buying the Parmesan cheese in chunks and then great it at home when needed. This way, it keeps the freshness, and you also know you are getting a higher quality cheese.

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Gratin

Cauliflower

Part of the same family of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and collard green.

A large white vegetable surrounded by green leaves. It starts showing up at your farmer’s market around June, with its peak months running from September to November.

Rich in vitamins C, K, B, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

When selecting your cauliflower, ensure that the florets show no dark bruising. The leaves attached to the base are strong and attached to the core base.

You should be able to hear a snap when taking them off by hand. The stem core bottom should not be dark or moldy.

Here are helpful tips for the ingredients needed to make this delicious  Cauliflower Gratin recipe

This is a short introduction. It includes essential items that you may already have in your pantry. Please read the recipe for complete instructions.

Cauliflower – The star of this dish. Select a medium size for this dish.

Unsalted butter – I always use unsalted butter in my cooking or baking to control the amount of sodium. Salted butter not only adds too much salt to your dish but also changes the flavor.

Whole milk – Needed to create the sauce. Please, do not substitute. You need the whole milk’s richness to make a rich sauce.

Flour – All-purpose and unbleached. Combined with the butter and milk, it creates a rich cream to accompany the cheese and the cauliflower.

Monterey Jack Cheese – Melts to a beautifully rich, smooth, creamy level and adds a richer consistency to the sauce.

Goat Cheese – adds a layer of tanginess to this dish.

Parmesan cheese – Melts too, and adds a layer of saltiness.

Salt and pepper – to season your cauliflower florets

Chives – Gives a light onion flavor to your sauce. Light and subtle and perfect with the cheese sauce.

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Gratin

Equipment Needed

I only recommend what I love and use.

Sharp chef’s knife – to cut the cauliflower florets and the chives

Heavy saucepan – Used to prepare the white sauce, which you will add the cheeses to. Make sure it has a heavy bottom to allow even cooking.

Large saucepan – To par-boil your cauliflower

Grater – for the cheeses, Monterey Jack and parmesan

Spatula – I found them to be the best when I need to stir all my ingredients

Large bowl – to mix the cauliflower with the cheese sauce

Gratin baking dish – My all-time favorite, as you do know by now, is Le Creuset enamel cast iron. They are the best for heat distribution and cooking or baking.

Colander – to drain the cauliflower.

Whisk – for mixing the butter and the flour.

Cookie sheet – if spilling occurs, your cookie sheet will catch them, and your oven will stay clean.

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Cooking tips and step by step to make this fantastic cauliflower au gratin

Before cooking, I always recommend having all your ingredients ready and at room temperature.

  • Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil and preheat your oven to 350F. Butter your gratin baking dish.
  • Boil for less than 4 minutes and check for doneness. Your cauliflower florets should still be hard to the touch but slightly soft. Drain them and set aside.
  • In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and flour to make your sauce. Mix well and add the milk slowly. This will prevent them from having clumps forming.
  • Keep whisking until a cream is formed. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the Monterey Jack cheese and still until melted. Proceed to add 3/4 of goat cheese and half of the parmesan cheese.
  • Add the chives, salt, and pepper. Please give it a last whisk and add it to the cauliflower florets.
  • Stir well to combine. Scrape the mixture into the buttered gratin dish. Spread the rest of the goat cheese and parmesan.

Place over a cookie sheet and place in the hot oven.

Not all ovens are the same, so it may take 30 to 40 minutes. You want to have a nice golden brown top.

Let it rest before enjoying it.

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Gratin

How to remove the smell of the cauliflower when cooking.

Life lesson from my grandmother for when cooking cauliflower.

She taught me to squeeze a teaspoon of lemon in the water or place some slices of lemon in the water that I will be boiling alongside the cauliflower.

The lemon will absorb the smell that we are not too fond of.

Storing and reheating information

Bring back to room temperature.

Cover with aluminum foil, place in preheated oven to 300F, and bake until warm, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Gratin

What to serve to enjoy with this cauliflower goat cheese gratin

This gratin goes well with most chicken dishes, lamb, and meats.

Here are a few suggestions for you:

Roasted Chicken

Parmesan, Panko Crusted Chicken Cutlets

Figs and Seared Duck Breasts

Pork Marbella

Pepper Crusted Rack of Lamb with Horseradish Creme Fraiche

Have fun with this dish. I found myself eating it alongside a nice green salad.

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Gratin

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Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Gratin

5 from 13 votes
Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Gratin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Easy to prepare side dish. Bubbly cheese over perfectly cooked cauliflower. Great side dish!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, + more for baking dish unsalted butter
  • 3 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup Monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 6 ounces goat cheese, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cauliflower, head cut into florets
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • 1 tablespoons chives, chopped finely
  • lemon, sliced and optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350℉ and butter a 10-inch gratin baking dish.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the lemon wedges.
  • Add the cauliflowers to the boiling water and bring back to a boil. After 3 minutes, Insert a knife in one of the florets; it should be hard to the touch and slightly soft on the outside.
  • Once done, drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat melt butter and whisk in the flour. Stir to blend and cook for one minute. Gradually add the milk while whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat once it has thickened.
  • Add the Monterey Jack cheese, and incorporate it well. Add 3/4 of the goat cheese and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese, chopped chives—season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour over the cauliflower and stir well until all the florets are covered with the sauce.
  • Scrape the mixture into the buttered gratin dish. Spread the rest of the goat cheese and parmesan cheese over it.
  • Place the gratin dish over a cookie sheet (for spillage) and bake until the cauliflower is tender and the top bobbly and golden brown.
  • Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

How to remove the smell of the cauliflower when cooking.
Life lesson from my grandmother for when cooking cauliflower.
She taught me to squeeze a teaspoon of lemon in the water or place some slices of lemon in the water that I will be boiling alongside the cauliflower.
The lemon will absorb the smell that we are not too fond of.
Storing and reheating information
Bring back to room temperature.
Cover with aluminum foil, place in preheated oven to 300F, and bake until warm, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 483mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 889IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 522mg | Iron: 1mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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